"The filmmaker, like his fellow artists in different media, has now realized that the artist is also a public person. He does not work in isolation from society. Instead of working alone in his ivory tower he is a citizen of the slums, of the streets, of the battlefield if need be. The artist is always a participant. He tries to be true not only to his craft but also to himself. For it is the supreme duty of the artist to investigate the truth, no matter what forces attempt to hide it. And then to report it to the people, to confront them with it, like a whiplash that will cause wounds but will free the mind from the various fantasies and escapist fare that the Establishment pollutes our minds with.
To the best of our abilities, and even if we oftentimes fail, we want to do works that will hurt, films that will disturb, films that will not make you rest. For the times are really bad, and given times like these, it is a crime to rest. We can not rest, and we should not, while there’s a fellow Filipino starving in Negros, an Aquino or Galman crying for justice, a salvage victim lying in a mountain of garbage while a corrupt family rules the country with uncontrolled power and wealth. While it is the duty of the artist to work for what is true, good, and beautiful, first we have to expose and fight for what is wrong.
In these times when most of the media hide the truth from us, when most of what we get from the media are silly gossip and petty flesh and sensationalized crimes, we go to the streets to find out what’s happening. We listen to those artists who dare risk their lives and livelihoods, who reiterate once more the utmost duty of the artist—that the artist is a committed person, that he will always take the side of any human being who is violated, abused, oppressed, dehumanized whatever his instrument — the pen, the brush, or the camera.”
Lino Brocka, “Artists As Citizen”
Photo source: Prometheus Brown