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The Arduous Search for Solace with Paintbrush in Hand tackles contemporary themes such as alienation, dreams and self-actualization, and tries to paint a picture of the disillusioned artist in society.

In the present capitalist-driven society, the “real” world, also known as the corporate world, is where people compete with each other to try to make ends meet. The corporate world becomes the battleground for survival, where reaching the top of the corporate ladder is tantamount to success. Along with that, we, through different forms of media, are fed with images that serve as standards for beauty, sexuality, and success. Those who veer away from these standards and ideals are looked down upon. As a result, they isolate themselves and try to find their own niche somewhere else. Majority of these deviant members of society are artists.

Non-conformists are propelled to seek escape from what reality offers them. In the film, dreams serve as a venue for escapism, allowing the dreamer, Vincent, to be absorbed with the possibilities unachieved in the waking world. The quest for maximizing one’s potential, achieving success, peace of mind and happiness is a common goal shared by every member of society. It is doubly arduous for the socially rejected, but never impossible.

Fadul, M. & Portillo, S. (2011). The Arduous Search for Solace with Paintbrush in Hand, Production thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication

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