Fulfilling the third installment in the on-going project to write a five-volume history of cinema in the Philippines, Nick Deocampo’s soon-to-be-published Eiga: Cinema in the Philippines during World War II covers one of the most understudied periods in Philippine film history—the Japanese war period.
Starting with the anticipation that came with the rumored plan to invade the Philippines by the Japanese military forces, this book details the period before Japanese planes decimated U.S. air defenses, signaling the start of a three-year military occupation that climaxed in a bloody end. Little-known facts gathered from primary sources in the Japanese and American film archives provide a picture of a nascent national cinema struggling to assert itself despite the hegemonic presence of Hollywood and how this young cinema was forced to take a different path towards western de-colonization under the Japanese military regime.
Despite the propaganda behind all the Japanese cultural maneuvers, the struggle for a national liberation becomes a convincing narrative coming out of the period, however happening outside the realm of film production as no Filipino anti-war film was produced at this time. Instead, the book shows how, even in the darkest moment of colonial aggression, desire to attain a national identity persisted. Although only a few films were made by the Japanese with local collaboration, the book offers a new way of looking at Filipinos torn between the grip of western colonial influence and the lure of Japanese anti-west rhetoric. How this tension would impact on the growth of a national cinema that develops after the war provides an intriguing conclusion to this book.
Origins and Shadows: Early Cinema in Asia
A ground-breaking collection of writings tracing the historical evolution of motion pictures during the time when Asia was once veiled under Western colonial rule. Asian and Western scholars contribute to account for the journey cinema has taken from the time of its introduction in the region in 1896 and how it developed to become the multi-faceted national cinemas that Asia is known to have today.