To quarantined filmmakers who never met Lino Brocka


To the young filmmaker who never met Lino Brocka,
Whose thesis films are disrupted by the pandemic,
Who cannot attend film festivals,
Who are struggling to write scripts in their homes,
Who are streaming movies at 2 in the morning
Whose film grant cannot be released
Who cannot do an internship
Whose film project has been cancelled indefinitely
Who cannot go out to shoot documentaries
You choose to stay home to keep healthy and fight the virus
You slip on a face mask and make the sign of the cross
You go out for food and medicine runs for your family
You sell products online
You bake cookies and cupcakes to earn
You upload your films to help raise money for PPEs
You pick up the guitar and sing again
You dance on TikTok to entertain your friends
You are not worried if you are not productive
You start painting again
You exercise with your Mom and Dad and post it on FB
You start planting vegetables even in small pots
You take photos of the blooms
You cuddle with your pet
You attend zoom meetings in pajamas
You cut hair instead of editing videos
You reconnect with your old friends and classmates
You run out of beer and panic
You wait for the Monday press conference from Malacañang
Then weeks of lockdown turn into months
No mass testing
Your friend’s mother dies of pneumonia
Your young filmmaker friend in New York dies of Covid-19
The biggest network is shut down
Your screen turns black
Your friends lose their jobs
Your beloved film mentor dies of sickness in Bacolod
Your sister is heartbroken, you cannot hug her
Your mother has a bout of pneumonia, you cannot visit her
You stop watching Monday night press conferences
You get sick listening to the President’s gibberish
70 days into quarantine
You try not to give up
You are not feeling strong
You are seething with anger
You talk to your plants and pray
You remind yourself you are a filmmaker
You remember your duty as an artist:
“The artist is always a participant.
He tries to be true not only to his craft but also to himself.
For it is the supreme duty of the artist to investigate the truth,
no matter what forces attempt to hide it.”
This is how you meet Lino Brocka in the time of lockdown and oppression.


The author dedicate this to her students including thesis advisees. 

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