The documentary about Amerasians in the Philippines Winner of the Jason Mak award for Best Social justice film at the Disorient Asian American Film festival
Robert, Jr, Charlene and Margarita are Amerasians: the sons and daughters of Filipina women (often impoverished prostitutes) and American Sailors stationed at the Subic Bay US Naval Base, once the largest outside mainland USA. When the Base was closed 20 years ago, thousands of Amerasian children were left behind. Unlike Amerasian children from other countries (like Vietnam, Korea, Thailand or Laos) Filipino Amerasians were never recognized by the US government. Why? There is no official explanation, but many say that it is because the Philippines was not a war zone and Filipino Amerasians are better off then their Vietnamese, Korean or Thai counterparts.
Yet Amerasians in the Philippines suffer a great amount of discrimination (especially the sons and daughters of African American servicemen) and have a very hard life, they live in poverty and cannot escape their plight, because they carry their (parent’s) history written on their faces.
Left by the Ship follows the lives of four Amerasians in the Philippines as they struggle with prejudice, family problems and identity related issues, trying to overcome a past they are in no way responsible for.
Italian Filmmakers Emma Rossi Landi and Alberto Vendemmiati spent two years living with the protagonists of the film in the Philippines. This results in a rich collection of scenes which intimately portray the sense of loss that Filipino Amerasians carry inside for their whole lives. The film follows the character’s struggle, keeping a light touch,with a beautiful cinematographic style and compelling storytelling, where narratives that often turn in unexpected ways.
Left By The Ship aims to shed light on the injustice suffered by an underrepresented community, to provoke thought about how global policies can affect innocent people all the way down into the depth of their souls, and ask universal questions about family and personal relationships. As one of our characters says “There is no reconciliation without recognition”.
July 9th at 8 pm at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA (Artivist Film Festival)
The Film Festival of Colorado, between June 24th and 26th
Salamat and all the best on your film tour Emma Rossi-Landi & Alberto Vendemmiati
Left By The Ship is a VisitorQ, Raicinema, ITVS international and YLE co-production. It will be aired on PBS Independent Lens during the 2011/12 season.