Not Just History: ‘Quezon’s Game’ Rooted in Rights

Freedom Mov_E Bacolod 'Quezon's Game'
Freedom Mov_E Bacolod 'Quezon's Game'FNF Philippines

The historical movie “Quezon’s Game” provides a different perspective on World War II as it shows President Manuel L. Quezon’s open-door policy to receive the victims of Holocaust fleeing from Nazi Germany. It presents the challenges that Quezon had to overcome under the American rule in order to preserve the rights and dignity of the oppressed.

Last August 10 in Bacolod City, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), together with its partners DAKILA and Active Vista, screened the full-length film directed by Matthew Rosen. This was part of the promotional efforts of Freedom Mov_E, an annual short-film making competition anchored on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

DAKILA is the Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism. A group of artists, students, and individuals committed to working together to creatively spark social consciousness formation towards social change.

Cinema 5 of Robinson’s Place Bacolod was filled with 400 students and youth leaders. 

Being a German foundation, it was relevant for FNF to share this film as it features the less popular cooperation of German and Philippine governments during the war.

Wolfgang Heinze, FNF Philippines head, stressed the importance of civic education as part of the efforts to safeguard democracies after devastating events that took place under authoritarian rule. “The purpose of political foundations in Germany is to ensure that no country ever commits the same mistake. We aim to strengthen institutions that promote a democratic space for its people”, Heinze said.

A panel open a discussion about the movie
A panel open a discussion about the movieFNF Philippines


The movie was followed by a 40-minute talkback with Micheline Rama of DAKILA, Mark Gerard Blanco of the Office of the Vice President, Jack Trinio of the Institute of Moving Images, and Joel Tambuson of the Philippine Association of Catholic Religious Educators.

With the rise of historic local movies that feature different national heroes like “Goyo”, “Heneral Luna” and “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo”, the questions of the audience ranged from craftsmanship in creating such films to what really makes people heroes.

Blanco cited the importance of verifying the information shown onscreen by reading textbooks and other educational sources because films use creative license that allows slight deviation from facts for artistic purposes.

Winning entries from the 2018 Freedom Mov_E film making competition – “Panata” and “Selda”-- were also viewed.

Interaction between the panel and audience took place
Interaction between the panel and audience took placeFNF Philippines

Freedom Mov_E 

In a related effort, other full-length films were brought to Quezon City and Cebu City to promote the film making competition. 

“Liway” is a true story based on the life of the film’s director, Dakip Oebanda, and his family’s experience in prison during the Martial Law years.

Read more on “Liway” here: LINK 

Evolving into a socio-political film incorporating the real-life horrors of extrajudicial killings, “Respeto” illustrates the parallelism between martial law in the 1970s and 1980s and the present day. 

Read more here: LINK 

Freedom Mov_E is part of FNF’s aim to translate complex concepts of freedom into language that is relatable to Filipinos.

Freedom Mov_E Bacolod 2019FNF Philippines