Made In the Philippines ... To Fukuoka with Love
Mula Pabrika Hanggang Fukuoka

PHILIPPINES / 1999 / Filipino, Japanese, English /Color / Video / 84 min

Director, Photography, Sound: Ditsi Carolino
Sadhana Buxani Script: Ditsi Carolino
Editing: Nonoy Dadivas, Ditsi Carolino
Music: Ronnie Quesada
Source: DocuPro
Sunrise Cottage, P5 Velasquez St, UP
Diliman, Quezon City 1101 PHILIPPINES
Phone & Fax: 632-928-8029
E-mail: docufilm@hotmail.com


Ditsi Carolino

She began her career doing photography and slideshows for grassroots communities for five years. Since 1991, she has directed documentaries, many of them on the lives and struggles of the poor. Films include: Trails to an Answer (92), Keeping the Coop Fire Burning (95), No Time for Play (96), Children Only Once (co-dir, 96, YIDFF'97 New Asian Currents).

Sadhana Buxani

Sadhana Buxani is a visual artist and documentary photographer. She also worked as a community organizer in war-torn Mindanao and the slums of Manila before she began to make documentaries. Made In the Philippines is the second work she has co-directed with Ditsi Carolino.

A three-part documentary about Filipina women and work. Elsa in rural Luzon, works long hours in a garments sweatshop, and spends the night at the picketline. In Tokyo, artist Veng seeks various work while pursuing her interests in photography and filmmaking. In Fukuoka, three Filipinas married to Japanese men reveal their stories as entertainers.

Directors' Statement

This documentary took us forever to complete. No factory was willing to open its doors to a video crew that wanted to explore the woes of women workers. We searched and tried for months until we stumbled on a garment factory owned by ex-activists who understood the meaning of what we were doing.
There we met Elsa, an ordinary garment worker. She was not particularly politicized nor jargon-spewing. She was unlike many union leaders we knew. Yet we admired her courage and will-power in the face of heavy pressures to keep their strike going, attend to her family's needs and earn a living, all at the same time.
When we thought we were done with the shoot, we did a rough cut. Only then did we realize how grim our story turned out. Sure, it was inspiring, but it was still depressing.
Mind you, we're used to depression. We've been doing documentaries on the problems of the poor for ten years already. We've covered life in the slums, picket lines, factories, god-forsaken villages. Streetchildren, scavenger children, child labor, name it. But Elsa's story was so sad. Even for us.
We decided to shoot some more. At around this time, we were invited to screen our video on child labor Children Only Once at the YIDFF'97. Here was the perfect opportunity to shoot a "happier" set of women. We decided to do a piece on Filipina entertainers in Japan.
We met Veng, a short-filmmaker in Yamagata, who volunteered to be filmed for our documentary. She told us that in order to survive being an "illegal alien" in Japan, she worked for six months in a karaoke bar.
Then we met Marlene, Emily and Kay, in Fukuoka. They took us under their wings and took care of us as we filmed them with a pauper's budget for four days. These women made us laugh with their songs and humor, but in the end they also showed us the pain of being discriminated against not only in a foreign land but also among their own countrymen.
We hope you encounter these women on screen as we did while filming them. Sad, angry, funny... But always strong.
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COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee