Preach through films that inspire hope and emotions, UST seminarians urged

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UST seminarians were urged to preach through films that will ignite hope and emotions for the young “visual” generation, during a contemporary philosophy indie film showing and symposium at the UST Martyrs’ Hall on Wednesday.

Fr. Norman Peña, Jr. of the Society of St. Paul challenged seminarians to produce films of hope to inspire reconciliation of broken families.

“Sa’kin kasi when it is a film, therefore, you want to show it. It might not, for example, be true to you but for others, the truth that we inspire is the one that counts. [A]ng ganda rin pala na hindi ka nawawalan ng pag-asa,” he said in his keynote speech.

Echoing the philosopher Michel Foucault, Jesuit priest Fr. Luis David, a guest professor at the UST Faculty of Philosophy, said movies should bring out emotions from their audience to “rediscover treasures and three-dimensional” versions of themselves.

“Show them movies that engage their emotions. Make it possible for them to feel once again that they are beings with emotion because without emotions you don’t get to the utmost sense of the good and much less any practice of the good,” he said.

Peña  said the “magic and miracle of a film” arise when philosophies influence other people to reevaluate their lives.

“Film is like that. ‘Pag nagawa mo na, it’s outside of you, ‘yun ang tinatawag na reframing. [I] did not discount that it would actually reframe other people’s faults to [let them] think twice or to reflect again on their current life. [T]hat is actually the magic and miracle of film,” he said.

David said the rise of independent films would enable the youth to understand their struggles.

“It gets people to think about a particular dimension of themselves. Preaching the Word, [the] ministry of the Word means getting people to understand the meaningful elements of their lives as human beings,” he said.

Inspired by Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish,” the film showing featured “Rogue City,” which tackled different perspectives on how society treats criminals. It was directed by Bro. Ronald Baculo, who won in the 2016 Alberione Media Awards for directing another short film titled “Breaking Sasha.”

Also shown was a short film inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” “Tarantulas,” which was directed by seminarian Paul Obispo. It depicted a boy’s struggle to overcome oppressors in society.

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