Call Her Ganda: What is Really Important?
On the final day of the 18th Annual New Hampshire Film Festival, the feature documentary Call Her Ganda, directed by PJ Raval, was screened at the Music Hall Loft.
Call Her Ganda chronicles the aftermath of Filipina transwoman, Jennifer Laude’s murder at the hands of an American marine. With Laude as a focal point, the film shows the dark underbelly of the United States’ foreign military bases, their effect on the people of the Philippines, and connects these themes to the challenges trans people face in developing countries.
The film reveals Laude was murdered when her killer found out she was a transwoman and follows the escalating backlash. What begins as a fight between Laude’s family and the US military base seeking to change the charges against the young marine responsible, eventually morph into mass political protests against American invasion in Philippines and the long-standing history of imperialism that the film reports continues to be perpetuated as recently as the Obama administration. Yet, underneath the difficult social and political issues the documentary presents, there is an intimate story about friends and family supporting each other through hard times.
With a focus on such a controversial issue, this screening asks a lot of important questions: Is it ethical to have military bases in foreign countries? What is the place of the United States government in world affairs? What universal rights of trans people must world leaders establish? Audience members leaving this powerful documentary are sure to consider their answers to these questions long after the credits have rolled.
By Nikita Serdiuk