Private Wars

Private Wars

Private Wars_1An autobiographical story of the filmmaker’s search for his missing father. Leaving Manila for Iloilo, the filmmaker (Nick Deocampo) reflects on his life in the city and how he has turned his back from his past. Returning home, he meets his family members including his mother, his sister, his relatives and his nephews. Asking about his father’s whereabouts, he hears many stories that hardly provide any answers to his questions. He embarks on a journey to the places where his father is rumored to have been sighted. He meets his uncle who tells him he saw and talked to his father a few years earlier. In his version, his father sells fake guns in Ibahay, Aklan. Proceeding to Ibahay, he is led to the public market where he is told his father sells live chickens. When he arrives at the market, he encounters some people who recognize his father from the picture he shows them. Several of them have seen him selling medicinal herbs that cured their ailments. One man is very sure he has seen him as his father sells his medicines right across his own market stall.

The filmmaker is drowned in a swirl of confusion caused by the crowd that surrounds him. He goes from house to house knocking on doors asking if anyone knows his father, but no one seems to know. He goes up to the mountain to meet a local informant of the political underground. It is rumored his father has joined the rebels but again only confusion prevails. Coming back home to his mother, the filmmaker reflects on his own life looking for meanings to explain his father’s disappearance. From the personal to the historical, he looks for reasons to the many questions about his family that suffered as a consequence of war. Extending the meaning of war to include his own, the filmmaker reveals his own private war – battling to reconcile himself with his own sexuality and with the political war he experienced during the period of Martial Law. Unable to find his father, he laments over his own sense of loss while walking in a seashore where he imagines finding his father and being able to grieve over his disappearance.

Private Wars

Synopsis

Private Wars_1An autobiographical story of the filmmaker’s search for his missing father. Leaving Manila for Iloilo, the filmmaker (Nick Deocampo) reflects on his life in the city and how he has turned his back from his past. Returning home, he meets his family members including his mother, his sister, his relatives and his nephews. Asking about his father’s whereabouts, he hears many stories that hardly provide any answers to his questions. He embarks on a journey to the places where his father is rumored to have been sighted. He meets his uncle who tells him he saw and talked to his father a few years earlier. In his version, his father sells fake guns in Ibahay, Aklan. Proceeding to Ibahay, he is led to the public market where he is told his father sells live chickens. When he arrives at the market, he encounters some people who recognize his father from the picture he shows them. Several of them have seen him selling medicinal herbs that cured their ailments. One man is very sure he has seen him as his father sells his medicines right across his own market stall.

The filmmaker is drowned in a swirl of confusion caused by the crowd that surrounds him. He goes from house to house knocking on doors asking if anyone knows his father, but no one seems to know. He goes up to the mountain to meet a local informant of the political underground. It is rumored his father has joined the rebels but again only confusion prevails. Coming back home to his mother, the filmmaker reflects on his own life looking for meanings to explain his father’s disappearance. From the personal to the historical, he looks for reasons to the many questions about his family that suffered as a consequence of war. Extending the meaning of war to include his own, the filmmaker reveals his own private war – battling to reconcile himself with his own sexuality and with the political war he experienced during the period of Martial Law. Unable to find his father, he laments over his own sense of loss while walking in a seashore where he imagines finding his father and being able to grieve over his disappearance.

Description

1996/ 16mm/ Color/ 67 mins/ Documentary

D/St/Sc: Nick Deocampo;
P: Masao Nidaira for NHK Television (Tokyo);
C: Louie Quirino;
E: Fred de Leon and Nick Deocampo;
So: Emmanuel Clemente
Cast: Behn Cervantes, Majella Palacios

 

Key Subject Areas:
Documentary (Autobiographical); Family; Gender; Homosexuality; Identity; Martial Law; People’s Power Revolution; Psychology; World War II