Limitless Cinema in Broken English

January 27, 2009

BONTOC EULOGY

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 9:11 pm

This is my comment in Girish Shambu’s blog:
http://www.girishshambu.com/blog/2009/01/favorite-cinema-discoveries-in-08.html

Noel, I feel very glad to have a chance to see BONTOC EULOGY. I hadn’t heard anything about this film before I saw it in the Thai Short Film Festival. I guess Alexis Tioseco might be the one who choose to show this film in the festival.

I just read Oggs Cruz’s review of this film in his blog (http://oggsmoggs.blogspot.com/2009/01/bontoc-eulogy-1995.html ). It is a great review, and it made me realize that this film is a faux documentary (or maybe you can call it a hybrid between documentary and fiction), though I used to think of it as a real documentary. I think its hybridity is one of the main reasons why I love this film, because I can’t separate fact from fiction in this film. I find this mixing of fact and imagination quite fascinating. The well-researched information presented in this film, the rare archival footage, and the great imagination of the director help make the person who lived and died about a hundred years ago come to life again vividly in the audience’s imagination.

Apart from being an informative film, BONTOC EULOGY is also poignant. It doesn’t lack emotions. We don’t only “know” about the lives of those tribal Filipinos, but we also get to understand how they might have “felt” while living in the world fair. I also felt quite moved near the end of the film. I think this film would make a great double bill with THE HALFMOON FILES (2007, Phillip Sheffner, Germany), which is also a great documentary about some ethnic minorities in a foreign land who became the target of some anthropological surveys.

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