The White Monkey (1987)

Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - Australia   |  
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Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

When, as a young man, Brian Gore was ordained a priest and was sent to minister to the population of Negroes in the Philippines, he was a rule-observing lad who upheld the status-quo in the church and in society. However, as he observed the incredible oppression of the majority of his desperately poor parishioners by the arrogant landowners of the region, he began to change his views. This documentary shows how in this case at least, it was not a case of the a priest radicalizing the population, but the other way around. Eventually, Father Gore working actively with his charges to bring about positive change. As the farmers began to press for their rights, many of them were tortured and killed by men hired by the landowners. Still, the priest and his parishioners continued to work for justice. For their pains, he and others were imprisoned by the Marcos regime and were charged with all sorts of violent crimes. His case became a worldwide cause célèbre, and he and those with him were eventually freed with all charges dropped.