The society of respected film critics that hands out the annual Gawad Urian in cinematic excellence

Amigo (2010)

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Fil-Am war remembered

By Lito B. Zulueta

The new feature film by renowned American independent filmmaker John Sayles brings back the “forgotten” Philippine-American War at the turn of the 20th century, depicting it as the seed of the disastrous US imperialist ventures in Vietnam and Iraq. Filmed entirely in the Philippines with a cast and crew of Americans and Filipinos, and with its polyglot dialogue in English, Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese and Latin, Amigo is set in Luzon in 1900. It opens with an inscription of how the Americans, in prosecuting their war against Spain in Cuba, chose to extend it to another Spanish colony, the Philippines, “half a world away.” “They chose to stay (there in the Philippines),” the inscription laconically adds. Read complete review

Revisiting an Old War

By Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera

The first Filipino film in contemporary times that grappled with the complex subject of Filipino-American War was Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? It was Romero’s comebacking movie after having spent time in Hollywood doing B-movies. In it he showed how a young man matured into a self-conscious Filipino during the resistance against Americans at the turn of the century. Romero’s was an ambitious project coming as it did in the first years of Martial Law, a Metro Manila Film Festival offering. It seemed to set a trend for meaningful films based on history. The trend did not happen, but starred a versatile star-to-be in the young Christopher de Leon.Read complete review