Media, Communication, Digitalization
The Martial Law era, a period of violent authoritarian control under the administration of deposed President Ferdinand Marcos (1972-1986), is the subject of contemporary historical contestations in the Philippines. The rehabilitation of the legacies of the Marcos regime, facilitated discursively through historical revisionism, is largely the result of popular disenchantment with the post-dictatorship regimes, and encouraged by the current administration of Rodrigo Duterte. Filipino filmmakers have however challenged this revisionist discourse, through the production of Martial Law films that highlight the atrocities of the period. In the cinematic production of historical memory, filmmakers have also foregrounded the narrative of the most significant radical opposition to the Marcos dictatorship – the national-democratic movement led by the Communist Party of the Philippines, which continues to wage an armed struggle and remains the foremost challenge to the Philippine state. This paper looks into the historical pedagogical value of these artefacts of cinematic memory, and explores the ways through which they radicalise the memory of the Martial Law period, and in the process, offer a rethinking of the historical legacy and enduring emancipatory potential of the Philippine communist movement.