Saturday, August 17, 2019

Briones: Chinese subtitles

On the go

YES. I do mind watching a movie with Chinese subtitles.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the Chinese. Not its people, its language and definitely not its food. I just don’t want to see lopograms or anything at all at the bottom of my screen. I mean, they’re distractions.

And also, we’re Filipinos. If someone does decide to put movie subtitles, these should be in one of the archipelago’s endemic languages. Even if that happens, it’s still bothersome. Because, let’s face it, the point of subtitles is to help you understand the movie.

That, or if you’re hearing-impaired.

And I don’t see either as a problem.

After all, don’t we consider ourselves to be America’s brown brothers? I mean, we even market the Philippines as the third largest English-speaking country in the world even though I don’t believe the latter to be true.

Still, the management of Megamall Lifestyle Malls in Metro Manila has a lot of explaining to do. I mean, what prompted it to screen “Avengers: Endgame,” the latest offering from the Marvel Universe, with Chinese subtitles.

Granted, the movie with subtitles will only be shown in selected theaters. But if you’re one of the “unlucky” to have bought a ticket in one of the “selected” theaters, then you have the right to a refund.

I bet you mall management didn’t think its action would merit such a reaction. Not in a society that goes out of its way to please “others.”

But there has been growing Sinophobia among some Filipinos lately. Perhaps they don’t want to cut the umbilical cord that connects the country to its former colonial master, the US.

God forbid!

They believe the latter to be the epitome of a perfect society, with its democratic ideals and all.

Never mind, if the Americans had successfully brainwashed generations of Filipinos into believing they had saved us from some cockamamie fate worse than death.

Oh no. But want it or not, some netizens have been drumming up hate against the Middle Kingdom, especially since the current occupant of Malacanang appears to be overtly friendly with Beijing.

Recent Chinese incursions into parts of the South China Sea the Philippines claims to be its own West Philippine Sea have not helped. Or news that the country would open its doors to thousands of Chinese workers.

However, I do believe that the subtitle controversy has been blown out of proportion.

I mean, mall management did clarify that it would only screen “Avengers: Endgame” with Chinese subtitles in selected theaters like in Chinatown, for example.

Unless, of course, it’s something else entirely.


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