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Title: The Fighting Filipinos: On the prosthetic memories constructed by the bida in films set in the Philippine-American War


Abstract:

Fernandez, K. R. (2017). The Fighting Filipinos: On the prosthetic memories constructed by the bida in films set in the Philippine-American War, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication.


After the end of the Philippine-American War, the United States established an official narrative on the period of conflict, dubbing it as the “Philippine Insurrection”, in order to erase the event from history. Focusing on how films today can counter this established narrative, the thesis anchors on Alison Landsberg’s theory on prosthetic memories, together with Reynaldo Ileto’s assumptions on flawed memory. Five (5) contemporary films set in the Philippine-American War were analyzed thoroughly in order to understand and illustrate the prosthetic memories they construct. The projected images of the five (5) protagonists create memories of the struggle which people from various walks of life experienced during the war. They contradict the pro-American narrative, showing the violence, cruelty, and oppression of the time, as well as the state of Filipino life during the era. While each film shows us different protagonists with different stories, the memories they create continue to add up to the idea that the Filipinos truly desired freedom. In addition, they showed that the Americans were, in truth, cruel and selfish colonizers who waged war and justified it as the “white man’s burden.” These films construct memories of fighting Filipinos who never ceased the struggle despite the odds of the time being in favor of the American colonizers.


Key Words: Philippine-American War, Prosthetic Memories, History


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