Tuesday, August 13, 2019

John Denver Trending Stop Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying can be disastrous, even fatal, as shown in the film “John Denver Trending” as one of the entries in the 2019 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The movie is rich in local sound and color. One even hears in the background the” tiktik.” In our childhood days, we were told that was the sound of the “aswang.”

A clear strength of the film is its rural and “regional” world, with its culturally simultaneous reality being succinctly captured in the depiction of communal faith healers paradoxically coexisting with smart phones, thereby suggesting not so much rupture as continuity between the regime of memory and the regime of data, especially where the residual but entirely determinative power of orality is concerned.

The film perhaps embodied Cinemalaya’s real vision : “the creation of new cinematic works by Filipino filmmakers – works that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity. It also aims to invigorate the Philippine filmmaking by developing a new breed of Filipino filmmakers.”

STOP CYBER BULLYING!

“Bullying”, as defined, refers to any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school; infringing on the rights of another; or materially or substantially disrupting the education process. (Sec. 2, RA 10627)

Specifically, “Cyber- bullying” is any bullying done through the use of technology or any electronic means. The term shall also include any conduct resulting to harassment, intimidation, or humiliation, through the use of other forms of technology, such as, but not limited to texting, email, instant messaging, chatting, internet, social media, online games, or other platforms or formats.

The film was shot entirely in Pandan, Antique, Condez’s home province. Only Meryll Soriano and Sunshine Teodoro are professional actors. The rest of the cast members led by neophyte child actor Jansen Magpusao are either Condez’s relatives or childhood friends. Magpusao’s family lives in a mountain resort in Pandan, Antique called Malumpati Cold Spring.

Also worth noting is Meryll Soriano, who enfleshes John Denver’s mother with the kind of quiet but forceful dignity and devotion that the role requires.

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