A Suggestion to Filmmakers: Make Elite the Heroes

Super Elite leads the way

Back on Ilda’s article about Filipino film, where we encountered lots of flak on our opinions on Filipino film, commenter Christy made this highly insightful piece on the topic:

“I have noticed this trend in indie films from the past few years based on a friend’s observations: themes always centred on slums, slums, slums, slums…whores, whores, and many whores…then, there’s our gay genre that either depict homosexuals as, erm, someone so degrading or comic relief…”

The commenter ends with this rightful plea:

“Good for you for your support for these films, but all my friends and I want is to see ordinary filipinos like us onscreen, but in a story that’s really worth an in-depth analysis. So if anyone want to support our film industry, be challenged to reach us, ordinary but not stupid folks, into watching worthwhile narratives.”

That’s a good call. I enter here to propose my idea to answer this challenge:

“Instead of focusing on slums, slums, slums, and whore, whores, whores, show a rich person who’s doing it right in life, and show how he’s trying to correct the lazy poor and helping them get their lives on track! I have YET to see that kind of movie. It’s always rooting for the underdog. This time, root for the overdog!”

Following Orion Perez D’s idea that the enlightened elite should lead the country should be the direction of movies. Make the elite the hero. Rooting for the underdog is a trend that I feel has been influenced by biased leftists in the movie industry.

The Elite show how a person should behave in society, properly make decisions, have excellence and have a true sense of justice. That is the ideal hero. Super-galing, super talino, super da best. The Elite. This should be shown in the movies and TV shows.

Unfortunately, what Filipinos so commonly see are films and TV shows that depict the poor as so poor and oppressed, that they tend to be the ones asking for the dole outs given out by the DSWD’s CCT. And when people watch this, they tend to imitate it and become mendicants. The shows teach people to be weak, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Thus, such shows reinforce the dysfunction of our society.

Thus, should Filipinos entertainment media change their content and message, they would contribute to society’s betterment by showing the solutions rather than sensationalizing the ills.

Break the mold. Stop overfocusing on the marginalized. Show the model that people should emulate. That would make Filipino movies and TV shows much more worthwhile – or worth it at all.

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About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

Post Author: ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

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27 Comments on "A Suggestion to Filmmakers: Make Elite the Heroes"

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Jon Limjap
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Spot on Chino! I continuously lament how documentaries depicting poverty, alleged exploitation, the criminal underworld, etc are a dime-a-dozen while there’s hardly any material on the Sys, the Gokongweis, the Ramoses (NBS) etc.

This society’s positive feedback loop is actually a negative feedback loop — show nega, feel nega, be nega — leading to all this bullshit societal idiocyncrasies GRP writes about/against.

Finn
Guest
These commentators are clearly not aware of the mindset where these filmmakers are coming from. Inspired by Marxist and postcolonial theory, they seek to represent the underprivileged subalterns whose violent and exploited contexts are usually used as fodder for sensationalistic tabloids, nonchalant news reports or melodramatic TV documentaries. To hail the elite–the very cause of the disenfranchisement of these people, those who maintain the system that oppresses us–is a jaded proposition. The elite have been keeping the country from fairer progress ever since 1898. Haven’t you read on their provincial oligarchies during the time of the American occupation? Aren’t you… Read more »
christy
Guest
“Is it not the saccharine romanticism of mainstream local cinema that makes them think that everything will be alright? In contrast, isn’t the pain uncompromisingly depicted in independent film capable of striking up righteous indignation?” My reply: Wasn’t there already a film, a semi-independent one, that dealt with how some of these indie filmmakers are exploiting poverty themes? How this film, too, tried to point out not on the themes of poverty but the wrong motives of these filmmakers? The hypocrisy is there to see that these filmmakers (some I believe) who try to depict this ‘reality’ are not even… Read more »
Finn
Guest
It’s true that artists sometimes hail from positions of privilege. Acclaim for aesthetic creations often come from the university setting, in which, some degree of privilege is required for one to “make it.” However, a position of privilege does not directly mean that the quality of these films are questionable. I NOTE that this is not a direct answer to the objection, but only an approximation. But in the recent Manila Italian film festival MovieMov 2011, Mendoza’s movies “Lola” and “Kinatay” were showcased alongside the works of Italian canonical filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento. That at least implies that… Read more »
christy
Guest
You assume that I only watch hollyweird which is getting weirder. I have not even seen ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and no, I will never see it. I wrote that based off my friend’s observation. I cited that film because I believe it’s most familiar to a lot here. I know many, but they’re obscure, and they’r not worth the mention. To begin with, and again I’ll say this, I haven’t watched in cinema houses on Hollywood films since 2001 (with the exception of TDK). I have mentioned before (in another post) that my family doesn’t like to watch the crap of… Read more »
benign0
Admin
This idea that the “elite” are necessarily “our oppressors” is the typical sort of notion that is ingrained in the Filipino psyche by decades of victim mentality indoctrination. Consider that the first Chinese immigrants into the Philippines held even lower statuses than these supposedly “oppressed” Pinoys. They were looked down upon as lowly balut vendors ahd shoe salesmen. Sweet revenge nga naman talaga. Today it is the wretched Pinoy who owes the descendants of these Chinese immigrants truckloads of money and drool over the imported products they trade by the containerload in these sad islands. Perhaps, rather than encourage Pinoys… Read more »
BoyKidlat
Guest

as a fan of the “Law of Attraction” I have to agree on this. Poverty Porn is starting to get really irritating.

benign0
Admin

Victim mentality, like sex, sells in the Philippines. You’ve just highlighted the narrow band that describes the full scope of the imagination of Da Pinoy, Chino. Pinoy movies reflect a society that prefers to embrace losers and demonise winners.

Moonlight Bomber
Guest
As with BoyKidlat’s case, I’m also sick of “poverty porn”. To make a good story starring a member of the elite as the protagonist, painful research about the psyches of himself and every other character to be involved must be taken. Not all rich people are greedy. Not all poor people are underdogs, salivating at the sight of anything that costs money. The quote “politics make strange bedfellows” might apply here. A member of the elite teaming up with an impoverished person is no problem to me, as long as they discuss various issues heart-to-heart before they start “the change”… Read more »
bp
Guest

It’s a simple enough suggestion. Why not simply take it? Chino doesn’t need to pepper his article with citations because he’s not out to show off. He’s merely offering a suggestion, a simple yet brilliant one.

BlueStreak
Guest

It is a good idea and if possibly so better yet put up a films that shows the “Elite” groom these “ordinary” people (no pun intended) to be a better person in society… What I mean is that a movie that depicts the cooperation of the elite and the commoner to improve society as a whole… This is quite the opposite of what is shown on films and drama(bloody overrated ones) here in the Philippines… Spot on post anyway, our films states problems but not offering solutions…

Don
Guest
Odd though, my friends from the “elite” don’t look like the “elite” portrayed in Philippine movies. Some are of Spanish descent, but they don’t make a big deal out of it. Some are of Chinese descent, but they’d rather identify themselves as Igorots. Some are babacnangs, but are so low key that they won’t stand out in a rice field. I have 2 mates who are Old Filipinos (descended from Americans who have settled in the Philippines in colonial times), and they are the nicest folks ever. Decent members of their barangay who had the bad luck to be demonized… Read more »
Frenchy
Guest
At Christy and the other critics: How lofty of you to criticize Pinoy films without even watching them. Read Christy’s list of films watched: none of them Pinoy And when she cites Pinoy films…”Anak??” She and her family havent watched a single ‘hollyweird’ movie since 2001? And in those years, how many filipino films has she seen, how many filipino film festivals? Anybody heard of The Arrival, Namets, Lasponggols, Tsardyer? No? None of these are ‘poverty porn.’ You’re the people who sniff, moan, scoff, raise eyebrows and complain why Mr Sy has not been lionized yet, him pa naman being… Read more »
christy
Guest
You mentioned ‘Tsardyr’. Talk about a piece of art (and I really mean shit). I can judge whatever I like about our cinema because, really, the crap that’s fed to me here overseas is what is most accessible to me. I am not some film elitist that I can just spend my legs and money to go to every film festival. I have life- I work part time and I study full time, all I ask, and I am just an average film viewer from time to time is that I be entertained enough to judge a film that is… Read more »
Anonymouse
Guest

Because you’re criticize a subject you, as you admitted yourself, have little knowledge of. Criticism of Filipino Movies in General, from a person who admittedly have not watched a single Filipino movie since 2001? Criticism about Filipino indie films from people who haven’t watched a single indie film? Kinda b*lls*it don’t you agree? Simple as that.

christy
Guest
Just because I haven’t seen a lot of Filipino movies doesn’t take away my right of criticising the film industry. It’s free speech and it’s pro democratic of me to express my view that the sea of films coming out are not honest and are devoid of knowing how to respresent social classes on-screen well. Perhaps I should have simplified it down for you that philippine film industry want to reflect their warped version of the real people. They want to paint smutty,slurry, undignified, simplistic mindededness on filipino people be it someone from a poor or wealthy background. But may… Read more »
Suibon
Guest

We already have an entire genre that concentrates on the doings of the well-off: they’re called ‘telenovela’.

Anonymouse
Guest

Plus most mainstream films already have the elite as the ‘bidas’. Kinda shows the lack of knowledge these whiners, este, writers have.

christy
Guest
You mean the caricatures of them. So you’re mad because we’re still unfairly represented on-screen and then you want others to see that we’re all dysfunctional, unhappy, and have no sense of rich values. I can say the same with how you portray poor people like less than human beings- just props to your ‘art’. I can see now that a lot of these working in the film industry are obviously pushing an agenda to further reinforce dysfunctionality and failogic in which you lot all glorify in order to keep us under your noses. The films are not only irresponsible… Read more »
christy
Guest

So do middle class really act like they’re brain dead? Do they all look like half whities? Do they spend their time crying 24/7 out of boredom? You’re still proving what the author’s been pointing out.