Duration: 14′ 00” // Date: April 5, 2017
TeleSur English, which is, according to their Facebook About Page, ‘a Latin American-based media outlet committed to principled journalism with a global outlook from the SOUTH,’ hosted an interview with Lav Diaz when Diaz was in London last month. This documentary featurette contains a discourse on politics and praxis where Diaz reaffirms his political position on the Duterte Regime. Here are some of my notes on the interview:
- Marcosian Imaginary in Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan: It was crystal clear in this interview that Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2014) is a film about the young Ferdinand Marcos. Diaz outwardly expressed that Norte is his examination of the birth of fascism in the Philippines.
- Diaz against the Duterte Regime: In this interview with screenwriter Emilie Bickerton, Diaz expressed his dissenting opinion on the Duterte regime. He described Duterte as a ‘mad man’ and detested Duterte’s drug war and his idolatry (?) to the Marcoses.
- Language and Class: Diaz also discussed with Bickerton the class divide on the local language, as reflected in his film Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2014) when the character of Angeli Bayani, Eliza, speaks with the lawyer of his imprisoned husband. In the film, Eliza expressed discomfort on the foreignness of the legal provisions that disallows her to file a motion for reconsideration or appeal to the court. In the interview, Diaz sought to stratify the class divisions in Filipino society via language by placing Spanish and English language as spoken by the upper class and Tagalog by the ‘masses’ with omission on the existence of regional languages like Bisaya and Hiligaynon.
- Diaz against Historical Revisionism: Diaz also expressed his disappointment with the contemporary Filipino youth for their lack of engagement with the historical past, in particular, as it can be implied, a strand of historical revisionism that emerged prior to the burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
- Art as Pedagogical Instrument: Diaz invoked all ‘artistic mediums’ to join forces in fighting the state apparatus and the ‘apathy and indifference’ in Filipino culture. Diaz believes, as he has been saying in other interviews, that art and/or cinema can educate (and acculturate), that they are pedagogical instruments.
- Lav Diaz and Foucauldian Genealogy: The interview ended with a note from Diaz regarding the importance of an ‘examination of the past’ in reference to the present. For me, this configuration on historicizing is essentially Foucauldian: a genealogical critique requires that, in order to understand the present, an ‘examination of the past’ must be made.
More to come in the future…