Day 3 of the London @LabourFilmFest – Burgos and Monsieur Verdoux

Day 3 started off with the European Premier of Burgos about the ‘disappeared’ in the Philippines. You can find out more by looking at the Campaign for Human Rights website.  The film itself focuses on the family, and in particular the mother of Jonas Burgos.  Jonas is still missing and the film dramatises his disappearance and the family’s fight for justice.

Afterwards there was a Q&A with with people associated with the film.  Unfortunately the microphone was handed a couple of times to people who thought they knew better than those directly involved with fighting disappearances and they spoke with the condescension only afforded to white men with no knowledge.  I think one of them was from War on Want but I stopped listening so can’t be sure.  One guy was obsessed with multinational corporations and seemed to think that if westerners put pressure on such companies then the government of the Philippines might act differently.

People are disappeared because they are a threat to the status quo. It’s impossible to imagine what the families go through. All we can do is support them in whatever ways they feel fit. This film allows us to see how they organise and it gives us a glimpse of what they go through.  It enables us to spread the word.

Second up was Monsieur Verdoux one of those Chaplin talkies.  I really wasn’t sure about that but it turned out OK.  It concerns a man making money after being made redundant in his mid 30s by marrying and then killing quite a number of women.  What a thought.  But the brilliance of the film is he’s a likable character and nothing is quite so clear cut.

So a thought provoking night and thankfully a few laughs in the second movie.


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