“The filmmaker, like his fellow artists in different media, has now realized that the artist is also a public person. He does not work in isolation from society. Instead of working alone in his ivory tower he is a citizen of the slums, of the streets, of the battlefield if need be.” – Lino Brocka
This September 20th to 25th, 2016, in recalling the proclamation of Martial Law forty-four years ago, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will be honoring one of our greatest filmmakers, artists, and social activists with “Lino Brocka: Citizen With a Movie Camera.” At the Cinematheque Manila will be a weeklong mini-retrospective commemoration of Brocka’s lasting heritage to cinema, culture, and history with screenings of several of his most significant, politically-charged works in film as well as activities celebrating his fight for truth and justice, and the revolution for freedom he helped set into motion.
More after the jump
To open the retrospective is an Opening Exhibit on the 20th, Tuesday, a show of photographs of Brocka in the process of making his works of cinema, care of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Pandayang Lino Brocka, as well as memorabilia shared to us by his family. Audiences eager to know about the life of the great National Artist for Film will also be treated to a documentary on Brocka’s life at 4 pm, also offered to us by the Pandayang Lino Brocka, which will also be opening the series of films for the week.
On the 21st, Wednesday, the very day at which Martial Law was proclaimed, Martial Law survivors will be telling their own stories of their harrowing experiences and educating guests on one of the darkest times in our nation’s history. After this intimate gathering will be the screening of one of Brocka’s most important works, the powerful and 1975 film Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag starring Bembol Roco and Hilda Koronel, the story of a young man from the provinces finding himself in the city to look for his sweetheart amid the poverty and crime in dark, gritty Manila. The restoration of Maynila was achieved by the World Cinema Foundation, the FDCP, National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP), and L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with Mike de Leon. The restored version of the film also premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and won the Best Archive Restoration/Preservation Title award at the 11th annual FOCAL (Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries).
On the 22nd, Thursday, will be a gala screening of Brocka’s brilliant Insiang, a work with the distinction of being the first Filipino film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival. An intense family drama and a deeply focused portrait on the title character Insiang, played by Hilda Koronel, the film follows the young woman as she transforms herself to exact revenge on those who wronged her in her small community of Tondo, Manila. Restored by Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation/World Cinema Project with the initiation of the film’s producer Ruby Tiong Tan and support of the FDCP and NFAP, this 1976 film was almost barred from leaving for Cannes by censors during the Martial Law years, but luckily went on to garner acclaim at the festival, with its restoration premiering again at Cannes in 2015.
“Lino Brocka: Citizen With a Movie Camera” culminates on Friday, the 23rd with the exhibit, symposium, and a talk with Lino’s own brother, Danilo Brocka, who has graciously given to Pandayang Lino Brocka many of his brother’s memorabilia. There will also be a special bloggers’ screening of Brocka’s White Slavery, a 1985 film on human trafficking starring Sarsi Emmanuelle, Emily Loren, and Jaclyn Jose, on the 24th, Saturday, and a presentation of works edited from the Cinematheque Manila “Make the Cut” editing workshop on Sunday, the 25th.
Join us for this week of films and events celebrating Lino Brocka and his legacy. Brocka’s works and words reverberate as we “listen to those artists who dare risk their lives and livelihoods, who reiterate once more the utmost duty of the artist — that the artist is a committed person, that he will always take the side of any human being who is violated, abused, oppressed, dehumanized whatever his instrument — the pen, the brush, or the camera.”