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Daang Dokyu kicks off film festival with Martial Law documentaries

By Kara Santos Published Sep 15, 2020 12:00 am Updated Sep 20, 2020 7:43 am

Daang Dokyu, a festival of Philippine documentaries, will be kicking off online by streaming five films about Martial Law for free from September 19 to 21.

With the theme “Martial Law, Never Again,” the opening film will feature ABS-CBN’s rarely-seen documentary Marcos: A Malignant Spirit (1986) as well as Ramona Diaz’ Award-Winining Imelda (2003) which chronicles the life of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

It will also premiere Kiri Dalena’s Alunsina (2020) which documents the struggle of children and families severely affected by the government's war against drugs.

Making its debut in the country after 32 years is Nettie Wild’s A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution which examines the left-wing revolution of the Philippines and chronicles the three points of a political triangle. Filmed by Canadian documentary filmmaker Wild in 1988, a year after former president Corazon Aquino came into power, this documentary has never been shown before in the Philippines. 

Also part of the line-up is Lito Tiongson’s Mendiola Massacre, a newsreel of the massacre in Mendiola Bridge filmed in 1987. The protest action for genuine agrarian reform by peasant organizations resulted in the deaths of thirteen farmers and hundreds of injured civilians.

Daang Dokyu, the first documentary festival of its kind, showcases the largest collection of Philippine documentaries from the past 100 years. The event is organized by FilDocs (Filipino Documentary Society) with the support of various partners.

The film festival, which was originally set to run from March 16 to March 21 at Cine Adarna in UP Diliman, moved to an online format amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to festival directors, the festival’s theme is made even more relevant by current events.

“Our generation now has been witnessing the erosion of our freedoms, unbelievable abuses of power, and a growing confusion about the future. We think documentaries can help make up our minds about the lessons already learned, mistakes we shouldn’t repeat, and what we shouldn’t allow again to be done to us as a people,” said  Jewel Maranan, one of the festival directors.

A discussion on the theme “Martial Law, Never Again,” moderated by Ed Lingao, will be held as part of the opening program.

The festival will run from September 19 to November 5. More documentaries tackling issues on the country’s environment, taboos, history, different regions, and its future will be made available starting October 2. For more information, visit

(Images from Daang Dokyu)