The 15th Mindanao Film Festival screened the multi-awarded film Tu Pug Imatuy (The Right to Kill) directed by Arbi Barbarona. It shows the suffering of the Lumads as they are caught in war between the military and rebels.
After the screening, film director Arbi Barbarona explained why he chose to emphasize the Lumad struggle.
“Relevant ang mga struggle ng Lumads. Dating nag-pronounce si pangulong Duterte na hintayin ang peace talks. Sadly, the peace talks have been cancelled. Ang naiipit lagi sa gyera ay ang mga kapatid nating Lumad,” he said.
[The struggles of the Lumads are relevant. President Duterte once said to wait for the peace talks. Sadly, the peace talks have been cancelled. The ones who are caught in the middle of war are the Lumads.]
Tu Pug Imatuy follows a Lumad couple who are abused and used by the military as guides to locate the hiding insurgents in the uplands at the boundary of Bukidnon and Davao.
Barbarona hopes that the film becomes an eye-opener for people and the government on the importance of peace talks.
“It’s about time na magiging eye-opener siya [Tu Pug Imatuy] na muling buhayin ang peace talks para wala ng civilian na madadamay sa gulo o gyera,” he shared.
[It’s about time that Tu Pug Imatuy becomes an eye-opener to start the peace talks so that no civilians get caught in war.]
The film also displayed scenes of nature untouched by human civilization.
The director explained that these scenes are important to show the importance of the environment as the source of living and to contrast nature with human suffering.
“Hindi tayo mabubuhay kung walang nature na siyang kinukuhanan natin ng source of living. Intention ko ring ipakita na ang kapaligiran natin ay sobrang rich ngunit nag suffer pa rin ang mga tao,” he said.
[We will not survive without nature- our source of living. I intended to make people realize that nature is so rich yet people are suffering.]
Barbarona expects the viewers to be critical and participative on relevant issues especially in Mindanao.
“Alam ko na ang paksa- although relevant siya- ay napaka bigat. Challenge ko lang sa mga viewers na suriing mabuti kung totoo ba itong mga kwento at maging participative sa mga relevant social issues especially sa Mindanao kasi hindi napapansin ang mga stories sa Mindanao,” he expressed.
[I know that the topic- although relevant- is heavy. I challenge the viewers to be critical in stories like these and be participative on relevant social issues especially in Mindanao as the stories here are not given much attention.]