` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

A Rewarding Lino Brocka Mini-Retrospective at the Cinematheque Manila

Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) celebrated one of our greatest filmmakers, Lino Brocka, in the mini-retrospective “Lino Brocka: Citizen With a Movie Camera”

 

 

The week proved a fruitful time in Philippine cinema as the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) celebrated one of our greatest filmmakers, Lino Brocka, in the mini-retrospective “Lino Brocka: Citizen With a Movie Camera” this September 20th to 25th 2016 at the FDCP Cinematheque Centre Manila, coinciding with the date of the proclamation of Martial Law in September 21st, 1972.

 

Under the leadership of FDCP Chair Liza Diño, the FDCP united the public in the cause of fighting for our freedom and celebrating the heritage of a great social activist and one of our National Artists for Film. The week was marked by a medley of activities and the screenings of Brocka’s valuable works—films restored thanks to the various filmmakers and collaborators who worked with the director, international archiving and restoration institutions, and the FDCP and the National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP).

 

Opening the retrospective on the afternoon of the 20th, Tuesday, was the invocation with Chair Diño and Shane David of Tudla Productions’ Pandayang Lino Brocka, a “cultural gathering that aims to inspire the creation and popularization of truthful, artistic and relevant audiovisual works to enlighten and cultivate critical consciousness of the mass audience” that helped with the week’s events. Visitors were treated to a gripping installation featuring Brocka’s statue, made by famed sculptor Jonas Roces, and a mixed media visual display of artistic activism and revolution. Proliferated around the Cinematheque museum was an exhibit of images of the director going about his life and work, as well as illustrations and paintings of his likeness, all graciously lent by Tudla Productions and the filmmaker’s brother, Danilo Brocka. Brocka’s films were also presented that day, with a special screening of Signed: Lino Brocka by American documentarian Christian Blackwood, a stunning portrait of the artist as told in candid and personal conversations between the two filmmakers.

 

FDCP Chair Liza Diño (center), Tudla Productions's Shane David (far left), and the Cinematheque Manila audience at the opening of the "Lino Brocka: Citizen With a Movie Camera" mini-retrospective.

 

 

On the afternoon of the 21st, Wednesday, 44 years after Martial Law began, guests arrived at the Cinematheque to sit down to a Martial Law Survivors Talk with those who bore witness and experience to this horrific time in our past. The Martial Law survivors Mila Legaspi, Ria Buenaventura, Zeny Mique, Tess Cruz, and Lady Padilla shared their pains and memories to a full audience hungry to know more about our history. Reflecting this dark period was a screening after the event of “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” one of Brocka’s greatest films about a provincial young man searching for his beloved in Manila and discovering the terrors of the city.

 

 

Actor and cinema icon Rez Cortez at the gala screening of Lino Brocka's Insiang.

 

 

Continuing the momentum on the evening of the 22nd was the gala screening of feminist revenge film and portrait of poverty, Insiang, arguably Brocka’s finest work and considered to be the first Filipino film to enter the Cannes Film Festival. A cocktail reception and program introducing the film was held at the Cinematheque, with guest of honor and iconic Insiang actor Rez Cortez gracing the screening and sharing a few words about his memorable experiences working on the film and with the great director.

 

 

Lino Brocka's brother Danilo Brocka speaking about the filmmaker's family life and cultural legacy at the culminating talk at the mini-retrospective.

 

 

Capping off the weekdays on the 23rd, Friday, was a culminating symposium with the filmmaker’s brother, Danilo Brocka. Waxing sentimental about his sibling, Danilo Brocka spoke of how Lino Brocka’s works that reflected truths in life and society. He recalled how Lino’s dreams of filmmaking began in childhood as the young director collected pictures of the stars, not knowing that he would one day be directing them. He also remembered how Lino kept his rebellious activity secret, as his own family was staying in the province while he worked in the metro. Speaking of his brother’s activism and the truths of society that he represented in his works, Danilo thanked the guests for their patronage and reverence for the director, with some of the audience responding with their own emotional response to the talk.

 

On the weekend of the 24th and 25th, the proceedings wound down with the screening of Brocka’s works. On Saturday bloggers and influencers were treated to a special free screening of Brocka’s White Slavery, his tale of human trafficking starring the Sarsi Emmanuelle, Emily Loren, and the now Cannes-awarded actress Jaclyn Jose, who got her first acting nomination in Brocka’s film. Sunday marked the end of the retrospective, coinciding with the completion of the FDCP’s Make the Cut: Film Editing Workshop and the presentation of the workshop’s aspiring editors of their short works inspired by Brocka’s signature vision.


With such a rewarding week of activity, the FDCP hopes to continue inspiring film audiences and filmmakers with events such as “Lino Brocka: Citizen With a Movie Camera” and offer more opportunities for cinema-going public to borrow a lens from our great past and peer into a greater future.

Film Development Council of the Philippines