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Independencia (Raya Martin, 2009) June 18, 2009

Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, French Spring, Indie Sine, Noypi.
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independencia

Written by Ramon Sarmiento and Raya Martin
Directed by Raya Martin
Cast: Tetchie Agbayani, Sid Lucero, Alessandra de Rossi, Mika Aguilos

The first thing you notice in Raya Martin’s Independencia is its color. Assuming that before you enter the cinema you see things in their usual hues, your eyes are quick to tell you that betraying them should be the last thing on your mind. The sudden adjustment of your eyes to its palette, as if revolting to the uncommon sight of moving black and white images in the big screen, suspends early judgment, for whatever it is that Martin has yet to prove to make his films “accessible” to “common” moviegoers only becomes relevant to people who consider themselves superior to the films they watch. I am not everyone, so I suppose if I may speak against the few whose bias is cultural, and whose thought balloons argue that if a recent French film is shot in black and white it is art, but if it is a Filipino film it is pretentious, my dear friends, I tell you, modesty is overrated. Let the film argue for itself.

Its color is not only noticeable. It is salient; it leaps out of the screen to claim your attention, to hold you still, as if bringing you to the setting of its narrative despite seeing its artificiality. There is consent, but it is not given sincerely. When one is not paying attention, there are many things that get lost, that are not appreciated, that are preempted by the fact that we are seeing a film that is clearly out of our league, whose world is some place we already left to move on. My first viewing of Independencia had me close my eyes because I could not stand Martin’s images. I was not disinterested; I just felt the need to close my eyes to focus more – – and it actually worked. There is an admirable effort to make the dialogues sound faithful to its time – – that is, during the early part of the century when the Americans took over – – and the stories of its characters bring to mind some childhood tales our friends used to tell us during recess, or legends our grandparents used to tell us to put us to sleep. The sound feels more than what it should be, which like the painted backdrops used throughout the film, aims to mimic the filmmaking trend of its time: the use of studio and the theme of resistance. The disbelief is suspended, but other things are also cut loose.

One clever part of the film is when the narrative is interrupted by a newsreel, the partly tragic and the partly humorous account of a boy with “unquestionable motive” shot dead by a soldier, who supposed that the kid was stealing some fruits in the market. I find the reel particularly amusing, that aside from the fact that Martin uses it to simulate the period when watching movies in theaters also meant reading the papers in between (and contrary to the fact that the news is not particularly amusing), it has also worked for the narrative, allowing us through the pause to follow more clearly the young man’s life as he bounces from his mother’s lap to his wife’s arms. The dream sequences and animation, which are also quirkily used in Indio Nacional, soften its uptight texture and provide humor to its somewhat humorless facade.

Martin is severely criticized in his previous films for his storytelling – – or as some would say, his lack thereof – – his indulgence in non-importance, his narratives that reek of boredom, his stubborn ambition. Independencia proves that he can do well with a plot as thin as a hair strand, a linear story that recalls early cinema, especially when the plot is only used to say other things, to suggest multitude of ideas, to bring to life a universe of histories. He tells the story the way his requirement needs it to be told, but he is still in touch with the style that he is hated for. While last year’s Now Showing really begs for walkouts, Independencia earns its right to be taken seriously, with less diabolic murmurs and more indicative silence (does sleep fall under silence?).

That he has put his four characters in isolation – – each portrayed wondrously by its actors (except my complaint about the kid’s rather incredible tone) – – is both logical and ironic. Our geographical location gives the logical part away, and the thousand islands that constitute our land intensify it even more. The ironic part is that we are also isolated within, that we are trapped in our own isolation, and that we are running away from that thought. Again, the use of color in the end becomes crucial in showing that.

But what becomes significant is not the story but the events that caused them to happen, which I believe Martin has the least concern to tell. In his films he has strived for the heart of subtlety by connecting with the tangled wires of our identity, not by untangling them but by going through them, following the knots till he reaches the end: the understanding. I will not claim liking Martin’s style – – liking it will make it more complicated to explain, and liking it risks more dishonest statements – – but I am surely affected by his films, confounded by their distinct voice, pained by their torturous storytelling, excited by their newness, amazed by their defiance. Independencia, all things considered, cracks open another feeling for me, and that maybe is the guilt in doubting it.

As an audience it is depressing to be hounded by questions instead of answers, that while films may not be entertaining they should at least be modest enough not to pain us emotionally, or confuse us to the point that even the simplest questions like Did you like the film? come out like the most difficult question in the world to answer. In fact in Martin’s case, the question Did you like the film? seems rhetorical, and if one obliges to answer it he will soon realize that another question is required to be answered, like If you didn’t like it because it is not entertaining, I wonder, should films be entertaining to be liked? Things like that. Independencia, like Martin’s previous films, poses questions that are not unanswerable but they are difficult to answer because I think Martin doesn’t know the answers to his questions either, so why bother. Why should I bother? Why should we bother?

And I guess that’s where I see the point of his films, and the reason why he should continue doing them. He stands alone as the hopeful one, the peerless storyteller of Philippine history that forces us to see the image that we refuse to look at, even for a second. We complain that we are always seen as a poor nation, that the films that represent us in foreign festivals are always about poverty, that Kinatay isn’t exactly the proper image of the Philippines that we should project outside. We do not complain about Independencia’s subject because it alleviates our guilt – – our guilt for not caring, our guilt for not letting these things matter – – because it is fed to us that history is important yet we do not really know why. Yet Independencia also shows how poor we are, how malignantly distant we are to our past, and how unrecognizable it is, as if our past is only what our textbooks tell us. If Martin’s films represent the true Filipino, then maybe that’s the reason why we choose to be another, to imbibe the culture of another, to become another. That’s why his films are such agony; it is easier not to recognize their power because they leave us powerless. They are not a source of enjoyment because otherwise we should redefine enjoyment.

Our history, if I may borrow Paul Simon’s words, is like a distant constellation that’s dying in a corner of the sky. Like the young man’s failing eyes as he looks at his home, vaguely making anything out of it, his feet barely moving, leaving him at the mercy of leaves and thunder, it all becomes a matter of recognition, of our memory failing us or us failing our memory. And Martin, if I have not yet expressed my sincere admiration, for taking the road less traveled, has surely made all the difference.

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Comments»

1. noni - June 18, 2009

hi chard, i havent seen the film but your review made me want to really see it. will it be screened again? thanks.

2. AD - June 18, 2009

While Martin’s Now Showing “begs for walkout,” the contemplative cinema guys think it’s a film of major contribution to the whole cinematic style of the contemplative:

http://unspokencinema.blogspot.com/2009/05/links-raya-martin.html

***

Oohhh… That question! (did you like the film?)

I think, when one critic faces this question, one must treat it as a question of one’s personal taste not his evaluation of a particular film. Evaluation (judgment) is far greater than one’s own personal likeness because it requires argumentative discussions not just a mere Yes-because and No-because statements.

***

I remember, in reflection to your 8th paragraph, that in post-classical Hollywood of the 1950s, ‘Hollywood Hearings on the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and the rigid Production Code regulating the content of Hollywood’s output prevented studious from producing films which dealt with the realities of contemporary life.’ [From: POST-CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD by Peter Kramer on Oxford Guide to Film Studies edited by John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson]

and also i remember the repressions to Iranian cinema in the 1990s, notably to Abbas Kiarostami’s A Taste of Cherry, which was banned because of its subject matter — Suicide.

***

3. myself - June 19, 2009

The best part of the film was the intermission piece which is authentic and playful in its depiction of irony while the rest was an exercise in artificial, stagey and melodramatic filmmaking. Certainly far from Raya’s best work.

4. Richard Bolisay - June 20, 2009

noni, maybe arleen the producer will tell us when the future screenings will be.

ad, you must be reading a lot!

myself, raya always tops his previous film, that’s all i can say.

5. HarryTuttle - June 20, 2009

Personally I much prefered Now Showing, because it’s more experimental, but that my taste.

The stagey aspect of Independencia is on purpose. Raya Martin proposes to recreate a (fake) archive of silent films/early B&W cinema for The Philippines. And this kind of studio-jungle is what everybody did in early cinema, in Hollywood, France or anywhere. It’s intentional stylisation. It should be taken as a reflection on the past of cinema and what remains of it, in archives and in our memories.

Apparently Raya Martin these films are 2 sides of his oeuvre. 2 different styles. So you can’t compare head to head his trilogy about history of occupation in The Philippines, and his more personal, more formally experimental trilogy.

6. Richard Bolisay - June 22, 2009

I get the intentional part, but does understanding equate to appreciation?

7. myself - June 22, 2009

i don’t wonder if you place Independencia on top of 2009’s best films. you did it with now showing in 2008. you’re a Raya fan talking, while i’m not. if Indenpendencia is any indication where Raya is heading, then it’s not a bright morning tomorrow for him. Independencia, aside from being stagey, articifial and melodramatic, is also tentative, vague, simplistic, maintream and narratively problematic. it’s amusing to see the artificiality of the ‘forest’: ang shiny ng mga dahon, walang kahit isang alikabok; ang linis ng kagubatan ni Raya, parang walang sawa. the fake backdropt didn’t help at all. while watching, iniisip ko, ano to, sinasadyang magmukhang fake o di lang talaga napull-off ang look ng kagubatan. kung sinasadyang magmukhang fake, wala akong nakitang indication. di katulad ng dogville na sinasampal sa manonood na “fake ang setting ko! ano may angal kayo?” i don’t think it was intentional on Raya’s part na magmukhang peke ang background. ang tingin ko, di lang talaga napull off ni Raya ang authenticity ng look. this assessment is confirmed during the last part kung san kinulayan ni Raya ang wall ng pula. it was meant to tell the audience na: peke lang po ang nakita nyong background kanina.

i liked maicling pelikula. kung gano ka authentic ung movie na yon ganun naman kapeke tong indenpendencia.

8. theWalruz - June 22, 2009

suwerte niyo napanood niyo ng libre ako magbabayad na

9. HarryTuttle - June 22, 2009

understanding doesn’t equate to appreciation, you’re right.
What transforms it into appreciation is the level of quality we give to these intentions and their successful achievements.

So the fake backdrop is not a failure in the film, we can’t use this detail as an evidence of a bad film. We can’t compare it to “normal” realistic films, because realism was not the goal of this film.

The goal was stylisation of memory within the artificial codes of historical cinema techniques. So the question we may debate is whether this use of fakery was successful or not (compared to early cinema aesthetics), not whether it was realistic of not (compared to today’s standards of realism).

Maybe it doesn’t work. Maybe his set lacks spatial continuity between the various scenes. Maybe the film strip burnout is too much. Maybe the episode of the child killed at the market should have been shot like the rest of the film (like a parallel cutaway to what was going on in the nearest village).
These are legit questions relevant to what the project meant to achieve. Personally I don’t think any of them is a major problem.

But if it is too slow, too thin, too minimal, too boring… it doesn’t mean the film is bad or failed to reach its own objectives.
It just means it is not designed for a mass audience, with a safe mainstream taste. And we can’t blame a film for pleasing only a certain niche of audience.

10. Richard Bolisay - June 23, 2009

myself,

i am impressed that you sound very sure of your thoughts. and i am also impressed that you can foresee some impending doom just after seeing this film. if the artificiality didn’t work for you then i guess that’s just it: it didn’t work for you, so it’s easy to deduce from there that i am “a raya fan talking” since i appreciated it.

somehow it seems that in our rather small community “a raya fan talking” is a crime for “non-raya fans.” and since when did raya’s audience become divided into “a raya fan talking” and “non-raya fan talking”?

11. Richard Bolisay - June 23, 2009

harry,

the use of fakery for me is effective, if not successful, for it has suspended my disbelief, and though i tend to notice that the backdrops look artificial almost every change of scenery, i begin to knock the thought off as the narrative continues because that’s not really the point, is it? conceding to that thought is rather difficult to some, i get it, but then, as in every raya film, to each his own appreciation. if you didn’t like it, then don’t crucify every person who did like it. but at least people are talking, and that’s a really good sign.

12. the bakla review - June 23, 2009

is it really so hard to say if we like a film or not? isn’t this the kind of thinking that makes critics seem pretentious and, uhm, full of shit to other moviegoers?

13. HarryTuttle - June 23, 2009

It’s the movie goers who tell their opinions as they feel it, to say “i like” or ” i like not”.
Precisely, the job of Critics is to say something else than any viewer in the audience could formulate. Critics don’t stop at an expression of taste, they try to explain why it works or not, why it appeals to an audience or not, why it is great film art or not.
Whether it is great/efficient entertainment or not is for the Box Office to tell. ;)

14. the bakla review - June 23, 2009

yeah, but is that supposed to stop critics from experiencing an honest-to-goodness feeling of like/dislike?

15. AD - June 24, 2009

FAKE versus stylization. Hmmm…. quite a discussion here. I almost suddenly found out that my previous comment was not in relation to INDEPENDENCIA… maybe because i haven’t seen it.

One must look at ALEXIS TIOSECO’S journal about this usage of B&W…

http://alexistioseco.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/independencia-shootingday-8-by-raya-martin/

Notice the saturation of the colors on the studio set…

FACTS:

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jeanne Lapoire
worked with directors:
ANDRE TECHINE, PEDRO COSTA

FILM STRIP USED: 35 mm (standard for contemporary art-house and hollywood films)

FILM EDITOR: LAV DIAZ (so cool!) but then given to Jai Halili

STYLE: B&W

REASON FOR USING THIS STYLE:

From Alex Tioseco’s blog: “It continues the aesthetic design for the trilogy started by Indio Nacional, which is for each film to mimmick the cinematic style of the era and culture it depicts. For Indio Nacional which took place at the end of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, that meant shooting in the vain of the silent-film, with a static camera, intertitles, and simple animation, for Independencia, set during the American occupation, it means shooting entirely in a studio, utilizing artificial backdrops, and applying heavy make-up on the actors. Seen in the images above is one of painted backdrops for the film. There are between fifteen and twenty of them in all.”

WHAT ERA DOES HE QUOTE: Silent Era

——————————————————
Assumption: Raya Martin is an independent ‘artist of cinema’ who has no production limitations (meaning, he does not work under hierarchical local studio systems like Star Cinema, Regal Films, who has total control of the filmmaker’s decision), who expresses himself fully, like how painters paint their master artworks, through the usage of cinematic tools.
——————————————————-

Questions on Approaching INDEPENDENCIA (just curious :-p):

1) Why did Raya Martin use the B&W style for the production? Answer: See “Reason for Using the style”

2) Has there been any other 21st century Filipino filmmakers to use that style? Who? On What Film?

3) What is the function of the Raya Martin’s B&W coloration to the NARRATIVE of the film? Does it have temporal function (to place subject into a ‘fantastical’ past, or to put it directly TO the past)? Or for special effects? Or for fun(i don’t think so)?

4) What makes a production of Martin’s INDEPENDENCIA ‘fake’? [in reaction to ‘myself’], Is there any other film that fits in this category? Are there levels of ‘fakery’? What are the elements present in the set of ‘fake’-styled film? What are other terms for ‘fake’ in the context of cinema?

5) Why did Martin shoot it on a STUDIO(with all the props), a not-so-common approach to today’s filmmaking (NOTE: naging uso ito before French New Wave), instead of filming ON SITE (common to almost all films) like kagubatan ng LAGUNA or damuhan sa Mindoro?

[well it depends kung gano kalayo ang site, there comes the traveling expenses, pero mas tipid at less effort siguro ang magshoot ON SITE, pero bakit gumastos pa sila for the STUDIO???]

6) What are other options available to RAYA MARTIN for filming INDEPENDENCIA taking the fact that he filmed from 2008 – 2009?
– Colored version, ON STUDIO
– Colored version, ON SITE
– Colored + B&W Version, ON SITE
if he has this option, why did he choose B&W + Colored version, ON STUDIO???

7) Has cinematographer Jeanne Lapoire made a big influence to RAYA MARTIN? On what aspect (lenses, camera movement, depth of field, coloration, exposure, etc)

In his interview with Mark Peranson on CINEMASCOPE:

http://www.cinema-scope.com/cs27/int_peranson_martin.html

“Cinema Scope: Why make a silent film, now?

Raya Martin: I just told someone how I become really excited whenever I see actualities and silent films. I think a silent film is how I really see cinema. It’s an exact transportation of time and space, and that there’s something about the purity of images, to see just the images themselves, moving, and understanding that what you’re seeing was a real space in a real time. In this essence it could be an issue of novelty, I’m thinking. We’re in an age where everyone’s in retrospection, including my generation, maybe because there’s no “looking forward” anymore. The old is the new new. I did this film as a “kid” with a mix of natural and illogical motivations: a craving for magic that I get from silent films, curiosity for information, interest in learning…”
.
.
.
.
At the end of the interview, Martin says:

“Yes, I grew up watching a lot of these studio films. I’m a huge horror buff and there were a lot of classics, I swear. Even now when I see these films again, I still think they’re great.”

————

From David Hudson’s article on IFC:

http://www.ifc.com/blogs/thedaily/2009/05/cannes-independencia-manila.php

“”[I]f his earlier movies are anything like this one, Guy Maddin has a prize pupil to be proud of,” blogs Tom Carson for GQ. “The evocativeness of ‘Independencia’ is all in Martin’s decision to shoot it in the style of a pre-Griffith silent movie, when nobody knew that film had any purpose except mimicking a theater’s proscenium arch. If that didn’t make it clear we’re watching a fable of the Phillipines’ past, the final image wouldn’t be nearly as wrenching – or as pointed. Beyond that, all I can say is that I’ll be at Martin’s next one with bells on.””

OKAY! That’s it! Just plain questions, quotations, and facts that can be corrected if proved to be wrong…

16. Richard Bolisay - June 24, 2009

the critic can do both, why not. it’s his blog space anyway. the internet has made everyone a critic.

17. myself - June 24, 2009

dont get me wrong. when i said you’re a Raya fan talking, im merely verbalizing what was written all over your review. the review was more of championing rather than analyzing. and with Now Showing topping your 2008 best films list and a very self-revealing bold declraration of: “raya always tops his previous film” i think verbalizing of your fan-ness is already stating the obvious. no matter how good a film is, when you approach it with an urge of fanaticism, the review tend to appear subjective and non-believable. i dont say you need to be objective because objectivity is one goal that is hardly achieved by anyone. im saying your review approximates Vera’s when he reviewing O’hara.

i agree that a fake backdrop should be the be-all for the failure of a film. but the contest with Independencia is the authenticity of the visual. is it intetional on Raya’s part to distract us with a fake backdrop or the intention was to pull off an authentic setting of the past. i believe Raya’s intent was to transport us into that memory with authentic visuals which he was not successful in the first place. all indications point to Raya’s attempt of concealment of the artificial backdrop: the static camera, the limited setup, the exaggeration of sounds to dramatize a forceful typhoon. even the script was fashioned to conceal the artificial backdrop, i hear Raya telling his scriptwriter, stay minimal because we need to control the environment for the film’s looks. i believe it’s the be-all of Independencia and it’s the big failure too. it looks fake all throughout and the other aspects of the films — the melodramatic narration, the constipated performances, the distracting sound — help ruined it.

no, it’s not a bad film per se, but it’s the good film you’re trying to pass it off as.

18. myself - June 24, 2009

dont get me wrong. when i said you’re a Raya fan talking, im merely verbalizing what was written all over your review. the review was more of championing rather than analyzing. and with Now Showing topping your 2008 best films list and a very self-revealing bold declraration of: “raya always tops his previous film” i think verbalizing of your fan-ness is already stating the obvious. no matter how good a film is, when you approach it with an urge of fanaticism, the review tend to appear subjective and non-believable. i dont say you need to be objective because objectivity is one goal that is hardly achieved by anyone. im saying your review approximates Vera’s when he reviewing O’hara.

i agree that a fake backdrop should NOT be the be-all for the failure of a film. but the contest with Independencia is the authenticity of the visual. is it intetional on Raya’s part to distract us with a fake backdrop or the intention was to pull off an authentic setting of the past. i believe Raya’s intent was to transport us into that memory with authentic visuals which he was not successful in the first place. all indications point to Raya’s attempt of concealment of the artificial backdrop: the static camera, the limited setup, the exaggeration of sounds to dramatize a forceful typhoon. even the script was fashioned to conceal the artificial backdrop, i hear Raya telling his scriptwriter, stay minimal because we need to control the environment for the film’s looks. i believe it’s the be-all of Independencia and it’s the big failure too. it looks fake all throughout and the other aspects of the films — the melodramatic narration, the constipated performances, the distracting sound — help ruined it.

no, it’s not a bad film per se, but it’s NOT the good film you’re trying to pass it off as.

19. Richard Bolisay - June 24, 2009

whoa, okay. by championing you mean i’m giving him praises that he doesn’t deserve, or just because i “sound” like i liked the film? you’re reading between the lines, because as i’ve said it is difficult for me to say if i did like the film or not. it is almost impossible. but you deduced it from there, and i have no control on what you think. fanaticism is never wrong when you state your reasons (whatever it is) – – and if i am praising him more than what he deserves that’s my right, and it’s your right to oppose it as well. likewise, wouldn’t you also be giddy to approach a film like Dogville with such fanaticism that you are mentioning? yeah, because that’s von trier – – the self-confessed world’s greatest filmmaker. it’s not fun when you’re always being objective! write reviews with feelings, that’s what i want. but we have our own reasons, and that’s terrible.

anyway, thanks, you had some discussion going. perhaps if i were on your shoes i would also not dismiss the fact that raya’s films are either incredibly great or grossly dreadful to provoke such feeling – – and wouldn’t you agree that that maybe is the most interesting thing about his cinema, that it caters to a “thinking” community, that it urges meaningful discussion and encourages meaningless ones? other filmmakers’ works can’t do that. sometimes a film can be so repulsive and offending that you consider it great just for that reason alone.

20. myself - June 24, 2009

“that it caters to a “thinking” community, that it urges meaningful discussion and encourages meaningless ones”

that honor does not belong to Raya but to a more impressive helmer: Brillante Mendoza. no ifs and buts.

21. Richard Bolisay - June 24, 2009

now that’s a Mendoza fan talking!

22. AD - June 24, 2009

Okay! Mendoza versus Raya martin fans … ‘myself’ turned out to be a Mendoza fan who doesn’t like Raya Martin. I hope there is more theoretical grounds discussed! anyway, carry on…

23. HarryTuttle - June 24, 2009

myself,
you need to watch more silent and B&W films of early cinema. You will understand the nostalgia for this epoch.

24. Rico - June 25, 2009

Sorry for butting in but I think you have failed to notice that Mr. Bolisay wrote a beautifully written review, and I haven’t seen the film yet.

25. myself - June 25, 2009

harrytuttle: i did and still do. that’s why it was very evident to me that independencia wasn’t successful in what it was trying to do. and yeah i’ve seen all brillante mendoza films (except kinatay which i have an inkling, this early, i will like less than serbis), if that’s any indication of my film junkie-ness to pass up silent and B&W films.

ad: i didn’t dislike raya just as i didn’t extol mendoza. geez, with cannes best director, mendoza wouldn’t need my campaign to solidify his status in world class cinema. what im sure of is im not fanatic who will excessively shout to the world: my idol always tops his previous film.

this is my last post under this thread as i don’t see the need to pan independencia more. here’s hoping it still go successful in its future screenings.

26. carlo - June 25, 2009

si myself masyadong selfrighteous, akala mo hindi naging fan.

27. frances - June 26, 2009

gusto kitang makausap nang personal tungkol dito. I even had a major away-walk-out scene with my housemate after watching this film. basta, nang tinanong ako kung gusto ko ang pelikula, ang sabi ko lang, “nakita ko na lang ang sarili kong parang batang nakikinig sa mga kwentong bayang tinalakay. Tungkol sa agimat at sa mga kababalaghan sa gubat, isa akong batang naligaw sa gitna ng masukal ngunit tila masikip na gubat.” At nalungkot ako na makamit ang paglaya sa pagtalon sa burol.

28. critic after jizz - June 27, 2009

bolisay has and always will be biased against mendoza; look at his post on mendoza’s win on cannes in his other blog.

29. Charlie - June 28, 2009

he’s not against mendoza. read his review on serbis..

30. myself - June 29, 2009

can’t help it but post again. i echo about bolisay being biased against mendoza. and yes look at his reviews of all mendoza films, serbis included. he spots the tiniest of mistake of the direction but, as with serbis, gives the credit to lao for the success of the film. it’s not only bolisay, you also have to see his friends like oggs and others. i don’t know where their hatred for the mendoza is rooted. is it because he’s not within their circle? and it’s pretty net that those who praise raya are the same ones who underestimate mendoza. this group of mendoza detractors is very visible and active in their tirades on mendoza. this is the same group who trashes mendoza as poverty porn. well, im sure the best director prize from cannes will shut their mouths about mendoza. poetic justice, in the truest sense of the word.

31. carlo - June 29, 2009

didn’t he like tirador and manoro?

32. carlo - June 29, 2009

sorry, didn’t he just “overpraise” tirador to the point of bein ridiculous?

33. yourself - July 2, 2009

myself? what are you blabbering about?!

34. rygy - October 20, 2009

The film Independencia is included in the official selection at the 16th International Film Festival here in Valdivia, Chile. Today is its last showing.

People have different views of looking at the film. A South Asian friend found the style of the movie good and how the story progressed. Me, I didn’t find the movie very appealing. It feels odd in some points. There are some small details of the film that bothers me like the chicks (I don’t think its native.) and they always eat kamote but they feed the chicken rice grains (or was it rice grains?). There was also a time that I wanted to go out the movie house because the phasing of the scenes are a bit slow for me.

Nevertheless, I am happy that they have put many Filipino values and traditions/beliefs (It also reminded me of similar stories back home when I was a child.), which to some Chilean friends might find it strange or interesting.

35. Richard Bolisay - October 21, 2009

Hi, it’s great hear from you way back there in Chile, rygy. Is Independencia the only Filipino film in the festival? I like the fact that the film incited varying reactions – -and varying degrees of them- – ’cause that’s how Raya’s films really are. Keep in touch!

36. rygy - October 26, 2009

Hi Richard! Yes, it was the only Filipino film entered in the festival. From the 5 awards given under the feature film category (12 movies competed), it won two: the Premio Especial del Jurado (Special Jury Award) and Premio de la Crítica (Critic’s Award).

Regards from Valdivia, Chile!

check link:
http://www.ficv.cl/f16/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1&lang=es&43b1cb26f1b9a1a2b1c2f5878383fc01=593cd7457a94d0d21768d5d38d02d692&limitstart=4

http://www.ficv.cl/f16/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=65&Itemid=104&lang=es

37. Richard Bolisay - October 27, 2009

That’s great news.

Le site Internet est en espagnol! Thanks, anyway, rygy. :)

38. Festival de cine de Las Palmas 2010: Sugerencias día V « Misterioso objeto al mediodía - March 16, 2010

[…] última presenta como opción más seductora, Independencia, la última obra del joven director filipino Raya Martin. Para los que tengan que madrugar mañana, […]


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