This Chilling Stop-Motion Short Film by a Student Leaves a Powerful Message
Catherine Mirana is a student at the University of the Philippines - Diliman. On March 30, she uploaded a stop-motion short film on Facebook about the enduring land struggle in the Philippines. Her film, which is a school project, quickly garnered thousands of reactions.
More: Rice and Bullets: The Story of Land Reform in the Philippines
“It was actually a school requirement. I expected that it won't be easy so I made sure to do something meaningful and fulfilling,” Miranda tells Esquire Philippines.
“I wanted it to be something that will leave a lasting impact on viewers.”
The gritty animation and rough sculptures complement the poignant message of the film, which depicts a farmer and his daughter living peacefully in their rural home. It opens with a waking scene in a house where a bedroom and a kitchen occupy the same space. The father eats a humble meal of crackers and coffee, then goes out of the house to tend to the farm, where he is gunned down in broad daylight. The film ends with the daughter looking for her father.
“It took me three days to finish the film,” says Miranda. “I spent the first day is for the miniatures and diorama, and then the next two days for the shoot. The film is made up of almost 2,000 photos combined.”
According to Miranda, she did not spend anything on the project, and sourced all the materials from scraps at home.
More: This Lady Bought Rice Through an App. The Farmers Wrote Her Back
“It is not yet graded by my professor but regardless of what grade I will get, I received more than enough,” says Miranda.
“I am happy a lot of people were able to watch it and had their eyes opened by my two-minute stop-motion animation.”
The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world with an enduring land struggle since the end of World War II. Farmers who protest for land ownership or equitable profits are often killed. In 2020 alone, 190 farmers were killed in a span of five months.