There is currently a heated dispute among filmmakers within Filipino cinema. At the turn of the millennium, massive Hollywood dominance forced local studios to close, which sparked an underground movement of small experimental cinema capitalising on the access offered by digitisation and the Internet. Some filmmakers have dubbed this period the New Wave while others have levelled the claim as a Western perspective. Khavn De La Cruz’s quasi-documentary explores the current position while Lawrence Fajardo’s violent mean-streets depiction of urban society presents a fierce glimpse into Filipino struggle. Buenas Noches, España takes a psychedelic look at Spain’s relationship with the Philippines and MNL 143 ventures even deeper to explore how the public sector is under threat from privatisation – two films clearly influenced by national history and politics. This entire section is possibly the most rousing of all at this year’s EIFF, offering an expansive window into the condition of Southeast Asian cinema.
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