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The Golf War

Globalization comes to a Philippine seaside community, which has to defend its ancestral lands against golf course development.

A printer-friendly version of this page 39 minutes
Directed by Jen Schradie and Matt DeVries
Produced by Anthill Productions

A Philippine government plan to transform ancestral farmland into a tourist resort sparks a dramatic conflict when villagers actively resist the development. As peasants and fisherfolk organize to stop the golf courses and yacht marinas, their seaside community called Hacienda Looc becomes a violent flashpoint in a larger, national battle over land and revolution.

THE GOLF WAR is a provocative portrait of one community's fight for survival against forces of economic 'development', contrasted with views of developers, bureaucrats, and golf boosters in the Philippines, including Tiger Woods.

Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000     Copyright Date: 1999
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-251-3     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-878-2

"Potent...Schradie and DeVries have a...bombshell of an exposé on their hands that could stand as Exhibit A in the argument for the motion picture academy to retain its short documentary category in the Oscars."
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

"Jen Schradie and Matt DeVries' wonderful documentary The Golf War could well be titled Scenes From a Filipino Class Struggle. The co-directors short but exhaustively detailed film outlines a classic David-vs.-Goliath tale..."
LA Weekly

"Filmmakers Jen Schradie and Matt DeVries offer incisive commentary on land reform and blatant government corruption in the Philippines...Schradie and DeVries nimbly use satire to sum up the country's thinly veiled corruption with pith and personality."
San Francisco Bay Guardian

"This film offers a way for students in the various and related disciplines, to see and discuss the complex interrelationship of international development policies and local social and economic structures...(A) useful visual resource for students interested in learning about globalization and how it affects other cultures and societies. "
Pilipinas, A Journal of Philippine Studies

"It features death, corruption, brave Filipino peasants battling to save their land against greedy developers... and Tiger Woods promoting the game in the Philippines."
The Guardian (London)

"It's called sudden death when two golfers finish a tournament tied and faceoff in a hole-by-hole competition. In the Philippines, real deaths have occurred in the battle between peasants and an alliance of government developers over converting farmland to golf courses...The documentary moves back and forth between the smooth-skinned, well-dressed developers and government officials to the weathered, work roughened peasants, who they say they want to keep their land because they can make a living on it..."
The Associated Press

"The film has all the elements of a classic...docudrama: corrupt politicians, greedy developers and peasants mysteriously killed when their protests grow too loud. There's also Schradie and DeVries' old-fashioned in-your-face interview style."
News and Observer

"Despite its title, The Golf War isn't an irreverent look at the goofy goings-on between Tiger Woods and Fuzzy Zoeller. It's a beautifully filmed documentary about Filipino farmers who are being forced off their land in the name of that great overpriced sport: of golf."
The Independent

"The film is unique and well-crafted, enlightening and entertaining. It succeeds as social satire. It rises above previous documentary films on the land problem."
International Network of Philippine Studies

"The Golf War exposes the technocratic face of capitalist 'development' to uncover the human suffering generated in its pathway. It places a human face on political corruption and paragovernmental terrorism (intimidation and killing of political activists) used to suppress opposition to the 'modernization' juggernaut in the Phillipines. Using ironic sound-bites from champion golfer Tiger Woods and his father as naive but instructive foils golfing in Batangas Province, the video artfully foregrounds the plight of rural Filipino agricultural laborers. Futurists and other social scientists in university classrooms, government social service departments, corporate boardrooms, and nongovernmental organizations can all learn from The Golf War."
Vincent Kelly Pollard, Specialist in Comparative Foreign Policy Analysis, Education About Asia Journal

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The Golf War

"Potent...bombshell of an exposé" Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Links (The filmmaker's web site)

Awards and Festivals
Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film Festival
Category Runner-Up, EarthVision Environmental Film & Video Festival
Hawaii International Film Festival
Atlanta Film and Video Festival
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Tahoe International Film Festival
Dallas Video Festival
Carolina Film and Video Festival
Seattle Underground Film Festival
AnotherTake Documentary Film Festival
Arkipelago Film Festival
Association for Asian Studies Festival
Planet in Focus, Toronto Environmental Film & Video Festival
Cinema of Resistance Film Festival
Cucalorous Film Festival
International Working Class Film and Video Festival
Finalist, New York Expo of Short Film and Video
American Anthropological Association Conference

Asian Studies
Business Practices
Developing World
Human Rights
Indigenous Peoples
Social Justice
Social Psychology
Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning

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