Truthness in and of Filipino Independent Films: a Gadamerian Hermeneutical Approach

Topics: Hermeneutics, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Independent film Pages: 15 (5249 words) Published: December 11, 2010

Rationale of the Study

Filipino Cinema has faced another era of its existence. For the past years the clamor for substantive, thought provoking, quality films scoffed against the apparently ubiquitous commercialized, ostensibly reformulated, motion pictures. Thenceforth, the dramatic rise of the Filipino Independent Film Industry has undeniably made significant refurbishment, if not an entire overhaul, on Philippine Cinema. Films creatively translate many dimensions of human life. Precisely, this is the case for Filipino Independent Films. Accordingly, what one sees on the silver screens or on other media are not mere creations of human imagination but are grounded on humans’ actual experiences however they would be different in persons, settings, and places, in actual circumstances. Aanganga (pseudonym) presents this notion of contextualization and points out thus: Ang Pelikulang Pilipino ay may mahigit 100 taon nang kasaysayan. Sa paniniyak, ang Industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino ay nagsimula noong 1897. Ang pelikula pa noong araw ay hinahalaw sa mga paniniwala at pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay at paniniwala ng mga Pilipino. Bilang pagpapatunay dito ay ang pagpapalabas ng pinakaunang pelikula na may tunog na “Ang Aswang.”

Such that, fictional or not, film themes hover through pervading human life issues, mostly have implications on social life. Therefore, a filmmaker is confronted with many possible stories to play and to enhance with. Contemporary FIFs have stirred public interest, lauds or scorns, not just because among those have been screened and acclaimed on International Film Festivals but because themes of those films depict social realities in the Philippines, some deemed to be so romantically or hyperbolically exhibited, that leave viewers uncomfortable if not totally perturbed. Themes chew over three main categories: (1) Values Promotion; (2) Social Faux Pas; and (3) Mixture of both categories. The first includes Love, Heroism, Religiousity, Bayanihan Spirit, Self-Sacrifice for others, Family-Orientedness, and the like; the second includes Queeriosity, Poverty, Corruption, Sex and its subtopics of Prostitution, Incest, and Rape, Murder, Environment Exploitation, and the like; the third muddles through (to and fro) the first and the second, this includes themes depicting Values promotion while presenting Social Faux Pas altogether in one film. The underlying themes in the films and even films themselves can rightly be regarded as media for communication and education for the present generation to make benefit of, consequently providing another way, in a creatively and in a richly means, of seeing life. With these, the Philippines is a treasury of potentially powerful cinematic themes that if developed extensively will bring about another golden age in Philippine Cinema. Needless to say that however educational or prophetic FIFs as they are made to be, their apparent expository representation ceases any in-depth analysis from the viewing public who are “being too tired from working or looking for work don’t want to think… and just want their simple/clear emotions to be triggered.” This suggests that the majority of the viewing public regard Films as pure means of entertainment only regardless if they are mainstream or indie films. This attitude is decisive in the sense that cinema has been indelibly woven to the nation’s cultural fabric respective of its role in the different periods of the country’s history. Even more crucial nowadays that films, specifically FIFs, have evolved into becoming more radical and vocal in presenting different issues that have significant implications in social relations. Such outward attitude towards films as pure means of entertainment reduces films as mere commodities for personal gratification. It relegates films from being prophetic horns, for awakening responsive consciousness, into susurruses of lethargic lilts that indulge escapist mindset of the viewing...
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