In the year 2050, the Philippines braces for the coming of the fiercest storm ever to hit the country. And as the wind and waters start to rage, poets wander the streets.
Lav Diaz, who just won the Berlinale Silver Bear for his 8-hour film Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery), will be in competition with the world premiere of his 16-minute short film Ang araw bago ang wakas, in which passages from Shakespeare are recited by ordinary people on the backdrop of a nocturnal city in the Philippines that’s bracing for a raging tempest. Continue reading
One day, they just disappeared. Just like that. One didn’t go to work, one didn’t go to his appointment, didn’t meet his date. The dishes served were left to rot, and the bed remained immaculate; the sheets unruffled and unslept in. One cannot say if they are alive or dead. And for this reason, there is no funeral, no nine-day wake, no mass, no burning of candles, or recitation of litanies for the dead. Because they are not dead (or maybe there are), and who is to know what has become of them?
What can a family do if someone disappears in a dictatorship? You can’t go to the police for help or information. Many families were affected in this way by the cruelty of the Marcos dictatorship (1972-1986). The film shows one of them as an example of paradise lost. Continue reading
Three sisters live in a paradise where men are metaphorically and literally serpents of temptation. Their father takes his three daughters deep into the woods, far from the nearest town. He dies, leaving the girls educated enough to read from the Bible, ignorant enough to allow men to take advantage of them. Continue reading
Synopsis: The Philippines, 1972. Mysterious things are happening in a remote barrio. Wails are heard from the forest, cows are hacked to death, a man is found bleeding to death at the crossroad and houses are burned. Ferdinand E. Marcos announces Proclamation No. 1081 putting the entire country under Martial Law. Continue reading
Lino Brocka’s films combine popular melodrama, political import, and intense realism with a vivid, economical style. Made on impossibly low budgets on the fringes of the Philippine film industry, his movies have an urgency and immediacy that spring both from Brocka’s burning ideological commitments (he was one of the most outspoken critics of the Marcos regime) and his resourceful, imaginative approach to the exigencies of borderline production. Set in the Manila slums, this 1976 effort is centered on a teenage girl struggling to stay afloat in the overwhelming, dehumanizing poverty that surrounds her. Her mother, who operates a tiny fish market, takes in a local hood as a lover, but the thuggish pretty-boy is clearly more interested in Insiang. After he rapes her (in a single-take sequence astonishing in its curtness and brutality), Insiang plans her revenge–a revenge that is also a revolution against the unseen government that endorses the system of exploitation. With Hilda Koronel. Continue reading
From Database of Philippine Movies :
Tinimbang, considered by Lino Brocka as his “first novel” and his first production for his own film outfit, is the story of a young boy growing up in a small town and the unusual friendship he develops with a leper and the village idiot. Their stories draw forth the true nature of hypocrisy in the small town and the boy bears witness and participates in the various emotions that throb under the seemingly quiet village life-prejudice, cruelty, forgiveness, and even love. In Tinimbang, Brocka clearly shows man’s limitations as a mortal being, but sends a message of hope for the movie, and in the end, speaks ultimately of rebirth and maturity. Continue reading
Manila: In the Claws of Darkness is the most impressive of his films noirs, made with bows to the American cinema, to Italian neo-realism and to his own country’s tradition of star-driven melodramas, but with the force of a third-world director determined to say something about his own society.It is the richly romantic but realistic odyssey of a boy named Julio, who arrives in Manila from the country to search for his childhood sweetheart. The darkness of the title refers to the capital itself, which, said Brocka, exerts an invisible force on the lives of its people. Continue reading