Akda: The Asian Journal of Literature, Culture, Performance


People power, political mimesis, film body, documentary


This essay will put forward a case of political mimesis in the film, 11 Days in August (1983), which contributed to the buildup of social movements in the Philippines that ended the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. By describing the processes ‘imaging back’ and ‘bodying back’ Gaines (1999), the documentary film experience is freed from the rigidity and confinement with the visible, opening it up to affective faculties to acquire meanings into our lived realities. Explored in these two aspects of the mimetic faculty is the notion of orchestrating the film’s body and that of the spectator into the filmmaker’s filmic rhythm. These elements heighten the engagement of viewers with the film material, themselves partaking into becoming one with the “ghosts in the machine” that spills forth affective qualities and opens up possibilities, not necessarily of radical social change, but of meaningful collective action.