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Watch Marawi documentary film ‘A House in Pieces’ on October 23 to 29

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The documentary film A House in Pieces will make its Philippine premiere at the inaugural edition of the DaangDokyu Film Festival from October 23-29, 2020. Directed by Jean Claire Dy and Manuel Domes, the film portrays the struggles of displaced Maranaos trying to rebuild their lives and homes in their deformed city, following five months of fierce fighting between ISIS-affiliated Maute group and government forces in Marawi City in 2017.

Three years after the battle ended in October 2017, evacuees from Marawi’s main affected area (“ground zero”) remain in limbo, with many demanding the government to let them return home despite the destruction wrought by the war. Until now, government plans to rehabilitate the city are moving slowly and tens of thousands remain internally displaced. The dire conditions for the people internally displaced by the fighting have been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nancy Gumbao standing on the rooftop of her destroyed house stares at the rest of ground zero in ruins as she whispers that there is nothing left for the Maranaos. (From A House in Pieces)

A House in Pieces unfolds as an emotional journey weaving together the stories of its protagonists over a period of two years. Among them, a displaced couple and their children yearning for freedom, income, and comfort after returning to their city. But even to return to normalcy is already a struggle.

DaangDokyu is a new documentary film festival celebrating 100 years of documentary filmmaking in the Philippines. The festival streams online and has invited A House in Pieces for its Philippine premiere on October 23, exactly three years after the Armed Forces of the Philippines terminated all combat operations in Marawi.

20marawifilm2The documentary film is an independent Philippine-German co-production and recently celebrated its world premiere at DMZ International Documentary Film Festival in South Korea. Directors Jean Claire Dy and Manuel Domes “tell the aftermath of the war against ISIS-affiliated extremists in the Southern Philippines as a universally relatable story about the loss and recovery of home”. The war-time destruction was not just the loss of physical structures: it has also unravelled communities and disrupted lives and culture of a city considered as a historical center of Islam in the Philippines. Until now, there has been little official acknowledgment of the magnitude of the destruction inflicted on Marawi City.

Through A House in Pieces, Dy and Domes hope to spark conversations about the human consequences of the war in Marawi. For them, the one-week screening at DaangDokyu, a festival seeking “to take stock of how we are as a nation and where we are headed”, is a timely moment to begin these conversations.

The film will be available to watch online free of charge on October 23-29 at https://daangdokyu.com/watchnow/.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayBArZ5vGqA

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