Year 4 of human rights film festival tackles just peace


BAGUIO CITY — For its fourth year, Sine Karbengan showcased a series of documentaries tackling justice and peace in time for the city’s commemoration of 68th International Human Rights Day last December 10 at the Igorot Garden.

Sine Karbengan during the International Human Rights Day at Igorot Garden in Baguio City. Photo by Julie Ann Doroja
Sine Karbengan during the International Human Rights Day at Igorot Garden in Baguio City. Photo by Julie Ann Doroja

Dubbed “Human Rights Cinema”, the film festival, a joint venture by the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) with Amianan Salakniban, ABS-CBN, and Movies That Matter, aims to raise public awareness on the struggle for the attainment of our human rights through engaging forms like art, journalism, and film.

“As the region’s broadest alliance for the advancement of people’s rights, the alliance is one with the Filipino people in the collective strife for genuine justice and peace,” said Audrey Beltran, festival directress and CHRA vice-chairperson.

Following an initial run in November which catered to universities and communities, CHRA partnered with local and national organizations upholding the same calls for justice and peace.

Amid the ongoing peace negotiations between the government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the five films sought to give light on the state of human rights in the country at present.

A short documentary produced by Only in the Philippines discusses armed revolution and civil war in the Philippines, from the causes of armed conflict rooted in historical and systemic injustice to the present course of a national-democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.

Another series of brief video tracks the month-long demonstrations mounted by various groups and organizations protesting the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

The piece offers the perspective of progressive formations and Martial Law victims on impunity and so-called “millennials” on historical revisionism.

Also featured in the festival is Tawid ti Ginakka, a documentary crafted by the Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center, Inc. (CWEARC).

The film was made in light of the military encampments of the 50th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Western Uma, Lubuagan, Kalinga.

Along with abuse and harassment committed in the community especially towards women and children, the said encampments also put the lives of civilians in danger, placing the AFP in violation of international humanitarian law.

Pinoy Media Center’s Daughters of Cordillera featured indigenous activist Piya Malayao as she visits her hometown in Bontoc, Mountain Province to reconnect with her indigenous roots.

Malayao, now convenor of national minority alliance Sandugo, looks back at the roles played by her mother and her grandmother in the Cordillera peoples’ struggle.

In the roster as well was “Bakwit”, an episode of Mukha produced by the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), which tells the story of a Manobo youth as he and his fellow Lumads resound their calls for justice in cities far from home.

Northern Luzon-based environmental network Amianan Salakniban also introduced In Defence of Life, a documentary produced by Jess Philmore with The Gaia Foundation.

The 30-minute film showcases stories of peoples’ struggles against large-scale mining in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, along with those in the Amazon in Colombia, Rosia Montana in Romania, and KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.The potency of collective action is demonstrated in the documentary’s narrative of the hardships and victories experienced by these communities at the hands of corporate mining giants.

Sine Karbengan was part of “Kannawidan para iti Kappia”, a day-long commemoration of the Human Rights Day organized by CHRA, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Tongtongan ti Umili (TTU), and Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK). #


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