By Tito Genova Valiente
Tsardyer is a film that illustrates how Information Technology connects all our islands and all their people. If mobility between and among classes and ethnic groups cannot be brought to reality by education, then another more mobile structure, that of mobile phones can do so. The narrative of Tsardyer, as cinema, is so compelling I wait for the next ad man to use and fuse the stories so his firm could tell the story of technologies and territorialization and deterretorialization. In between such narrative, we could perhaps have a glimpse into what troubles some political groups in Southern Philippines and how we never can really understand what those brothers and sisters of ours there want from our national government that serves only a few.
In other words, however central the mobile phone in Tsardyer, we will never see this cinema put to work by mobile companies based in our country and anywhere else.Read more
By Butch Francisco
Any hardcore journalist will kill – or will even risk getting killed – for a scoop. In news programs today, it’s all about having stories that are exclusive, exclusive, exclusive! That’s what all their headlines scream.
Only very few of today’s journalists, however, can still do undercover work because everyone has become a celebrity. Those who are not on TV are on Facebook. The production staff who join the raids on sex joints are often green, their journalistic instincts yet to be sharpened. They can flush out all the sex workers from those seedy establishments week after week, but has anyone bothered to look into the operations of those powerful people running and/or protecting these prostitution joints? It’s back to business after some palms have been greased.Read more
By Mike Rapatan
Arnel Mardoquio’s Sheika recounts the harrowing story of Sheika (Fe Gingging Hyde), a Tausug mother who, together with her sons Mudin (Mark Anthony Perandes) and Alfad (Dan Lester Albarracin), flees the bombings in her war-torn village in Jolo for the urban comforts of Davao City. Her decision to move to Davao, a place she regards as a safe haven for Muslims like her family, is not merely a geographic relocation. At a deeper level, Shieka’s agenda for migrating is psychological. Her family’s transfer to Davao is a quest for catharsis from the traumas she has experienced. It is also a deliberate attempt on her part to escape the ruthless violence targeted at people of her kind by the diablo, her allusion to the military who, as implied, claimed the life of her husband in some bloody military operation. Hoping to prevent a similar fate, Sheika on the boat trip to Davao instructs her sons to avoid speaking in their dialect and abandon their Muslim garb and religious practices and assume new names in order to appear no different from the other city folk. Sheika becomes Shie while Mudin and Alfad respectively take the names of Dindin and Soysoy.Read more
By Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera
Arnel Mardoquio’s investigation of the impact of war in Mindanao began in Hunghong sa Yuta which tells of a young artist from Davao City who volunteers as a teacher in a mountain community where children born at the onset of the war grew up deaf and mute.
Mardoquio’s seond film, Hospital Boat, narrates the story of two women friends, one a doctor and the other a religious sister, who together moves from one coastal community to another to bring medical relief to war refugees in the company of a young lumad boy. The film introduces us to a wider variety of characters—Muslim revolutionary leaders, a priest who runs a relief center for evacuees and war victims, and an abusive Muslim warlord and his sister who, beside him, stands as a counterbalancing figure, a Muslim lawmaker who takes the side of the oppressed.Read more
By Gigi Javier Alfonso
Noy is a film well-directed by Dondon Santos and released by Star Cinema. Here is a film that is a documentary within a narrative. The contrast and the disjuncture of the two genres, that of the documentary for television with jerky and almost technically violent footage, and that of the melodramatic, sleek narrative meshed together. Its message is in its form. A narrative with its Act I, introduces the characters, Act II, the body with all the details of the characters, the conflict presented and climaxing with the brothers drug involvement and Act III, the resolution of either the death or the satisfying future of the protagonist.Read more
Ni Rolando B. Tolentino
May scoop ang pelikula: ang footage ng kampanya ni Nonoy Aquino sa pagkapangulo. Sa unang tingin, mukhang ginawa ang pelikula para sa kampanya ni Aquino. Mayroon din namang katatohanan dito. Ang katukayong Noy (Coco Martin) sa pelikula ay jologs na naghahangad ng quickie na solusyon sa buhay, tulad marahil nang napakaraming Filipino na linggo-linggong umaasa sa lotto at serbisyo sa simbahan, El Shaddai at iba pang mega-churches.
Pinalsipiko ang diploma at credentials, pumormang journalist sa kompanyang media na pagtratrabahuan at nagbakasakali na pumusta sa ikagaganda ng buhay. Sa huli, unang nadiskubre ang kanyang kawalang-alam sa pagiging journalist (na ipagtataka kung bakit siya napasok sa inner media circle ni Aquino), at malaon, ang dispalsipikadong credentials na magtatanggal sa kanya sa trabaho.Read more
By Lito B. Zulueta
In Limbunan, a young Maguindanao girl engaged to be married undertakes an elaborate pre-nuptial ritual of cleansing and preparation. Betrothed to a man she hardly knows, 16-year-old Ayesah (Jea Lyka Cinco) tries to remain faithful to her culture and tradition. But her fidelity comes under quiet assault as she struggles with her feelings for a soldier, who may or may not be in love with her but who’s bound by the same strictures of Maguindanao culture. Since she has been betrothed to another man, he can only watch as she goes through the rigors of the rituals. He cannot reveal his feelings because such would only disturb the age-old tradition of a people so set on its old ways as a matter of survival and self-perpetuation. Read more
Ni Benilda S. Santos
Higit pa marahil sa panitikan, ang pelikula ay imahen, talinghaga, metonimiya, o salaysaying biswal na maituturing na lunsaran ng mga alaalang nagmula sa kasaysayan, karanasan, matatandang kuwento, o kahit pa nga panaginip na itinutulak sa liwanag ng pagkakilala sa isang kawalan o kakulangang nais punan, o ng isang uri ng dominasyon o manipulasyon na pinagsisikapang harapin. Sa pelikula ng kababaihan, may isa pang bukal na pinagmumulan ang malikhain at mapuwersang pagbuhay sa imahinasyon, at iyan ay ang pagnanais na masilayan ang isa o ilang alternatibong larawan at salaysay ng buhay ng babae.
Tinutugunan ng Limbunan ni Gutierrez Mangansakan II ang pangangailangang iyan ng kababaihan, na mismong pangangailangan din ng pelikula sapagkat lagi nitong dapat na hangaring lampasan ang nakagawian, lalo na sa pagbubuo ng isang pananaw ng babae, o sa pagkakataong ito, ng isang paraan ng pagtingin sa tradisyonal na lipunang Muslim na kumikilala sa umiiral na mga puwang at guwang dito na uusbungan ng bagong paglikha.Read more
By Lito B. Zulueta
IN SHERON Dayoc’s “Halaw,” a boatload of curious characters with their own private quests and ulterior purposes tries to cross the border between the Philippines and Malaysia. While they slowly make their way amid the waves and winds, their stories unhurriedly unfold, interweaving into an intricate whole that’s on one end is poignant, on the other sordid. When they reach their destination, they stealthily enter inland to avoid detection by border guards. In the depths of darkness, shots are fired, presumably by Malaysian sentinels; and we discover that the characters’ real stories have just begun—right at the point of death. From port of entry to port of destination, death is farewell and welcome.Read more
By Mario A. Hernando
Sheron R. Dayoc’s Halaw Ways of the Sea, which he wrote and directed, isn’t so much about the sea but about the experience a group of contemporary boat people fleeing their homeland go through. The journey is from Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao to Malaysia, and on board are a motley set of characters who are seduced by unknown prospects in a strange land that is presumed to be more promising than home. The movie begins and ends with these travelers besieged by security forces in the country of their destination, warned and maybe shot at by the guards to drive them away. It is the dead of night.Read more