The drug war trend in indie film

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GEORGE VAIL KABRISTANTE

There is a trend among some indie filmmakers these days toward making movies that deal directly or obliquely with the problem of drug war in this country.

Topping the list in terms of integrity in content and brilliance is Brilliante Mendoza’s “Ma’ Rosa” which won for Jaclyn Jose Best Actress at Cannes Film Festival.

The same film however failed to slug it out in the best actress category for this year’s film derby that pitted against the equally heavy assignments of Vilma Santos in “Everything About Her,” “ Charo Santos in “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” Judy Ann Santos in “Kusina,” Nora Aunor in “Kabisera” and “Tuos,” and Hasmine Killip in “Pamilya Ordinaryo” among others.

Of the aforesaid films, Ma’ Rosa and Kabisera dealt headlong with the issues on drugs. La Aunor won best actress in Kabisera as the widowed matriarch at the most recent PMPC Star Awards for Movies in a tie with Vilma Santos in Everything About Her who earlier won Best Actress in the same film at the first Eddy’s Awards organized by a group of entertainment editors. Charo’s as well as Hasmine’s showed some scenes with characters into drugs. Same with Paul Soriano’s Dukot.

Another indie film worthy of note on drug menace done in cinema verite includes Director Arlyn dela Cruz’s “Bubog” that hinted at some controversial personalities involved in the drug sting and ring in this country.

This was followed by the recent launching of a new and young teen actor Kevin Poblacion in a role of a problematic son pushed into using drugs in the film “Adik.”

Coming on the heels of Adik is the freshest genre film on the drug menace billed “ Durugin Ang Droga” directed by self-confessed and rehabilitated substance user actor and comedian Dinky Doo, who was a member of the Optical Media Board under Ronnie Ricketts.

Said film was recently launched and premiered at SM Megamall with all the lead cast gracing the event hosted by Actors Guild president Imelda Papin.

Director Dinky said that his film is in full support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs even if he did not vote for him in the last election, adding however that he was convinced heart and soul through much of the seriousness of the President’s relentless war on drugs up to the present time.

He strongly acknowledged the presence of the president of the directors guild of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) William Mayo whom he considers his mentor in film directing and acting and Caveat as his screenwriter.

Added to the list of those wishing to cash in on the bandwagon on the war against drugs is Rhene Impreial who’s out on a comeback trail.

He swears to make his comeback film neither in the mold of a low-budget indie quickie or one that fizzles out on the first and last day of showing in local cinemas. He’s short of saying give indie films on drug war a break it long deserves in the international market. Let’s see to that as well.

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