Years on, the stories of extrajudicial killings continue to haunt the country. As international courts examine data under a microscope, we look at the faces behind these numbers through real perspectives.
In the case of performance artist and activist Mae Paner’s documentary “Tao Po,” this comes from the points of view of four characters, told through a collection of harrowing monologues. Based on the one-person play of the same name, “Tao Po” takes cues from several immersion trips and interviews conducted by Paner and playwright Maynard Manansala.
One is a photojournalist inspired by Raffy Lerma, who snapped the famous shot “Pieta.” Another is Nanay Rosing, a Zumba instructor left widowed and childless after her husband and child’s encounter with the police. The third is a cop-turned-hitman, convinced about a responsibility to keep a community safe. “Tao Po’s” last anecdote comes from a young girl named Vanessa as she lights candles in a cemetery’s “Tokhang Wall,” while telling the story of how she witnessed her parents’ death.
“I had a hard time sleeping because I was seeing all these senseless deaths in the news. I’ve reached a point when I no longer felt anything about it,” Paner previously told Inquirer. “As an artist, this scared me even more, so Maynard and I did research on extrajudicial killings and tagged along with what are called night crawlers, or those who go out every night to respond to news of killings.”
“Tao Po” will be streamed live on KTX.ph on Oct. 8 to 10, Oct. 15 to 17, Oct. 22 to 24, Oct. 29 to 31, and Nov. 5 to 7. E-tickets are priced at P199. For more info, head to the site here.
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Still from “Tao Po”