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Balangiga: Howling Wilderness

 

Director_ KHAVN
 
Philippines 2018 113min DCP color feature Fiction
Review

Balangiga: Howling Wilderness is a story about an escape. In 1901, Balangiga, an eight-year-old boy, Kulas and his grandfather attempt to escape the contaminated land as General Smith issued the "Kill and Burn" order. After rescuing an infant abandoned in the middle of the sea of dead bodies, the Kulas party begins a hard journey to the wilderness of Samar. The journey of Kulas goes through the places left with physical, emotional and psychological remnants of looting and violence of the USA. KHAVN illustrates how contradictory identities of the Philippines have been formed through migration and separation. An interesting fact is that the film is an allegory completely told by the child’s perspective. Like the many examples of the tragedy and the brutal history depicted through the child’s eye, the political implications and suggestions in the film are relatively clear. Balangiga: Howling Wilderness which belongs to a part of Philippine history, plays with images and shapes the fear of reality in an unconventional style. [JANG Byungwon]

CREDIT
  • DirectorKHAVN
  • ScreenplayJerry GRACIO, KHAVN
ProducerAchinette VILLAMOR, Edong CANLAS, KHAVN
FILM SOURCE
Stray Dogs / lison@stray-dogs.com
DIRECTOR
KHAVN
 
Khavn is the leading director of the Philippine New Wave which has flourished since the 2000s. In the Philippines, he is called the “father of digital film” as he made nearly a hundred short and feature films. Jeonju IFF first bonded with this versatile artist through the film MANILA IN THE FANGS OF DARKNESS (2008) and subsequently introduced Son of God (2010) and Mondomanila (2011). Khavn’s films are tinged with genre conventions but simultaneously display forms embodying the history and reality of the Philippines, raising questions about the nature of national cinema, national identity and history. Balangiga: Howling Wilderness, the film invited to this year’s Jeonju IFF, exhibits the will to overcome the historical deprivation of the Philippines under imperial violence. Happy Lamento will also be screened where he made an appearance.
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