Ramona Diaz: Artistic Statement

I am interested in looking at power through the medium of non-fiction film. More than the simple retelling of events, I am drawn to explore the way power is harnessed, and how it may be seized by charismatic individuals in the name of the people, and reclaimed by the people when collectively they are able to break the spell.

In Imelda, I tried to understand how Imelda Marcos was able not to steal power from the Filipino people, but to use their fascination with myth and symbols, their pride, and their deep insecurities to coax power from them. In Spirits Rising, I tried to understand how the grassroots People Power movement was able to catalyze and sustain an insurrection that ended the 20-year regime of Ferdinand Marcos and sent him into exile.

In The Learning, I look at power from another vantage. This film was concieved as a “reverse angle” response to both Imelda Marcos and to the female insurgents who took part in overthrowing the Marcos government. Whereas Imelda was charming and ruthless in her pursuit of power, the teachers are women cornered by economic circumstance. Whereas the women of the People Power uprising empowered themselves within the context of a movement to secure the future of the Philippines, the teacher would be a study of disempowerment, a woman acting entirely alone to secure a future for her children.