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‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral,’ a well-crafted, elegant movie—but where are the probinsyanos?

By Noa Gomez

It’s good to know that the movie is a hit among the young crowd in Manila. They even stood up and clapped at the end part.

Here in Butuan, it’s embarrassing that it is not. I was at the movie house and only a few, maybe about twenty people watching. Are there people with elevated and critical taste around here? Or are they mired in Vice Ganda trash that we have no right to call ourselves a rising urban community, as our local government would like to believe, when we cannot even raise our aesthetic consciousness worthy to be called as sophisticated?

As one philosopher said wealth gives us material ignorance, art gives us a soul.

A lady friend with an English degree avoids Pinoy movies because she thinks they are predictable, senseless and boring. She watches Hollywood movies with her kids, believing they are better and convinced she has taste, but in truth, she has not. Hollywood movies are even more predictable, senseless and dumb.

This friend needs to level up, she need to know Pinoy movies, particularly those made by the new breed of college educated film-makers the likes of Lav Diaz, Jerrold Tarog, Brilliante Mendoza and many independent film-makers.

Goyo, the movie, is one masterpiece film that Filipinos especially the young, should not miss.

It is not only historically entertaining but a perfect venue to reflect on our collective selves, past, present and maybe future if we care enough of who we are as a nation and where this nation is going. This movie can teach us a lesson.

I wish the so-called millennials and yuppies who are really not different from the oldies will take time to churn it with their brain and heart the way educated people do-or should do.

It matters because this movie make us understand the challenges we face with our national leaders with their questionable motives. It is time to learn the lessons of our past.

We also need directors like Tarog to raise the mirror so we can examine ourselves, pimples, warts and all. I am sure my friend will surely be amazed and appreciate the movie, as many others and encourage her children to see it and learn to be critical and appreciate the relevance of Filipino artists.

When I was in Davao, I saw the Mindanao Film Festival and was ecstatic and proud at the quality and substance of the films shown done by amateur filmmakers. Movies that jolt and entertained like no other. It’s wonderfully amazing that those stories told about us.

Photo courtesy of Cinema Bravo


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