Documentary – Philippines / World Première
Khavn De La Cruz / Philippines / 2012 / 102 min
It’s been 35 years since punk was unleashed on the world, with its devil-may-care, anyone can do it attitude. There’s not much nowadays which seems to echo that ethos. On the far side of the planet, however, having recently been ‘democratised’ by the advent of digital technology, the independent Philippine movie industry is a hive of activity. With Khavn De La Cruz’s documentary Philippine New Wave: This is Not a Film Movement, we are given a rare glimpse into this lesser known cinematic world.
Philippine New Wave features some of the most important filmmakers in the industry, such as Ramon Mez de Guzman, Ato Bautista and Lav Diaz (some of whom have films being showcased this year). The most exciting thing about this film is the infectious vigour with which the interviewees talk about Filipino cinema. Their passion and excitement is exuded from the screen as they discuss the effects of colonialism (Spanish and American), Filipino identity and exactly what ‘independent film’ means. The problem is, this is essentially just a collection of talking heads filmed on a handheld camera, and though this may do justice to the rough and ready medium, it doesn’t do justice to the visceral originality or calibre of films being produced. Perhaps a reasonable introduction but this really feels like it’s barely scratching the surface.
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