Thursday, October 2, 2008

Irresponsible Gay Films

I received a very interesting criticism on my films. Here's the message:

I have to say your films are irresponsible. You are universalising western gay ideologies and trying to convert indiginous pinoy sexual norms to the McDonalds way. I’m a American living in the Phils and I lament the westernisation of bakla. What you fail to mention in your films is that western values are based on greed, imperialism and individuality. When it is too late the indiginous Spanish - Pinoy culture, with all its beauties and flaws, will be no more. I say Filipino’s should reject the gay model, not embrace it. Stand up and be counted Filipinos! The discretion of the past was better than the outing of thr present. Look at American gay scenes for an idea of where the Phil is heading.



Hi Max,

Thank you for this note. I am very interested to hear more about your discourses on how my works contribute to the killing of the original "Pinoy Bakla" culture. I am sure that there are many things that you treasure as an outsider of this culture that I have failed to appreciate having been born with this culture.

Admittedly, I am quite individualistic. And I admire the western model of homosexual integation within the society.

Please enlighten us more. What is it with the direction of homosexuality in the west that we Filipinos should avoid?

I appreciate this thoughtful criticism.

Lex Bonife


john said...

it seems interesting when i read the title of the film. well if it is gay film it always stay beautiful

line of flight said...

Leave it to a white foreigner to accuse a Filipino of "converting indigenous pinoy sexual norms to the McDonalds way" and then qualifying his "pure bakla" statements with "indigenous Spanish-Pinoy culture". I thought Spain was part of the west, di ba?

Acutally his fetishizing of kabaklaan is really a testament to his own unconscious imperialistic tendencies. On the one hand, he makes the claim that bakla is part of some pre-western indigenous past (which is totally unwarranted) and then denies you the power to experiment with modernity.

Having an American tell a Filipino where in the past he should live his life sounds a lot like Dean C. Worcester's purpose of supporting the Igorotized exhibit of the Philippine at the St. Louis World Fair in 1904.

I think the only non-colonialistic thing in his entire statement involves the problem of avarice in capitalist economic systems. However, injecting neo-colonial fetishizing about our history is clearly not relevant to this argument at all.

I would suggest two books that may be worth looking at: Michael Warner's "The Trouble with Normal" and Alexandra Chasin's "Selling Out: The Gay and Lesbian Movement Goes to Market" These concisely deal with certains problems of connecting queer potential with heteronormative social practices (and economic practices).