What pops into your head when you hear the term 'dictatorship'? People can imagine a tyrannical dictator and citizens whose opinions have been suppressed. Over time, there have been many societies in which autocracy dominates the world. But people fought against it and finally gained their freedom. Today, however, has dictatorship completely disappeared? If not, how can we fight against it?
"A man in uniform was putting up a poster on the window of an abandoned shop."
Two children, Huntley and Smudger, are watching chocolate pouring out of the truck. They, who love chocolate, are very sad to see it being destroyed under the wheel. However, since the National Health Party has been in power, chocolate has no longer been available. This is because the National Health Party prohibited chocolate and sugar for the health of the people. The majority of the people did not agree with this policy, and Huntley and Smudger were also against it. They love chocolate so much that they go on a journey to find it. First, the children visited Barbie who runs the store. However, the soldiers had taken away all of the chocolate Barbie had. Therefore, the children couldn't get any. Next, the children went to the black market. However, black market is discovered by the soldiers, and a man selling chocolate at the black market is soon chased by government forces. Will the children be able to escape the government's surveillance and find some chocolate?
Alex Shearer's Bootleg is the story of citizens revolting against a dictatorship. The book consists of 32 chapters, each chapter containing tragedy under a dictatorship. The government brutally tramples citizens who possess or eat chocolate through legislation prohibiting chocolate and candy. Alex Shearer talks about the value of democracy through Smudger and Huntley, who look for chocolate to escape the oppression of the dictatorship. Since most people like sweets very much, they are dissatisfied with the policy to prevent people from eating chocolate, but the policy is enforced, and it bothers people. Smudger and Huntley symbolize them, and go on a journey to find chocolate. Readers can pay attention to what the end of the children's difficult journey will be. It's because they know that a modern dictatorship can pass absurd laws just like the government in the novel suppress the consumption of chocolate and candy. Many modern dictatorships promote economic growth and the like. This work shows how the dictatorship justifies long-term rule.
"Right now democracy is dying of a thousand cuts."
<A Thousand Cuts (2020)>
The Philippines has its first Nobel Peace Prize winner! Maria Ressa is a figure who fought against dictatorship through her role in the media. Rodrigo Duterte, who was elected the 16th president of the Philippines in 2016, abuses social media with the influencer Mocha, a communications secretary, and 50 million followers. After Duterte's election, drugs became subject to summary punishment in the Philippines, and many young people were killed in the slums. Rappler, a Philippine online news website founded by Ressa and other fellow journalists, began to criticize the coercive and dictatorial punishment. In retaliation, the government released accusations and fake news about Rappler on social media. Rappler refused to back off and demanded that the government disclose their policy and a list of victims in the drug war but was rather severely suppressed. Maria Ressa received hundreds of hateful text messages every day. She was investigated for cyber defamation, but she didn't cease her efforts to reveal the truth about the government's dictatorship and false incitements. Will she be able to get away with the government's oppression, and revive democracy?
The film is a documentary-style film featuring Maria Ressa, who reported on the brutal policies of Philippine President Duterte on drugs and political propaganda using social media. It was unveiled through the Wavve platform in 2021, contributing to shedding light on the reality of Duterte's dictatorship. It vividly shows the Philippines as a place deprived of journalistic freedom and shows the collapse of democracy and the establishment of a dictatorship in the 21st century. When the expression 'Duterte's dictatorship' was first used, readers may wonder, "Can dictatorship exist in the 21st century?" However, using social media and influencers, they will see highly developed political incitement and think that it had developed into a more dangerous form of dictatorship. Everywhere in the world, the media has the duty and right to properly identify and criticize social issues, including the president. Maria Ressa has been criticized and mentally harmed in a variety of ways, but she does not stop informing the public of the reality of the current administration. Despite all the oppression, her work with Rappler to discover the truth is very impressive. Regardless her incarceration, Her small power has contributed to letting people all around the world know about the Philippine dictatorship.
Kim Yoon Jina / Cub Reporter
Lee Kim Narim / Cub Reporter