Fully Booked Film Series

December 11, 2008

December 11, 2008: Bontoc Eulogy

Filed under: Films Screened — Alexis @ 2:20 pm

Bontoc Eulogy
Directed by Marlon Fuentes

A personal story about the Filipino experience at the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904, the film unfolds from the perspective of two characters, the NARRATOR, a Filipino immigrant in America, and MARKOD, an Igorot warrior held captive at the Fair. It chronicles Markod’s experience, as one of the eleven hundred natives brought to America to be part of the “Philippine Reservation.” The St. Louis Fair was the site of the largest “ethnological display rack” the world had ever known, a place where thousands of “primitive” men and women from all over the globe were displayed side by side with the artifacts and monuments of Western scientific progress and civilization.

As a “documentary” that locates itself deeply in the fractures between historical truths and possibilities, the film sets stakes into seldom-explored territories of imagination. Simultaneously autobiography, detective-story, and a highly layered meditation on cultural abduction and social ism, it is a unique simulacra of “historical” cinema. As a reflexive examination of traditions and surfaces of “cinema as witness,” the film functions as an intricate dissection of the very process of narrative and representation.

Screening schedule: 8-10pm, December 11, 2008
Duration: 57 minutes (+ post screening discussion)
Location: U-View Cinema, Basement level, Fully Booked Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Language: English

*screening with permission from the director

Director’s Statement:

Art has always served as an orienting device, a way of locating one’s self as an outsider in a culture where “duration” is peripherally acknowledged (in passing) as commodification’s wake. Because of this, history, rituals, and artifacts become the raw material for constructing our own archeologies of meaning. We all navigate personal passages, slipping through membranes of one sort or another, mostly unaware of what transpires in the moment. More often, it is only through the distance (of time and/or space) that we are able to suture these fragments into some kind of recognizeable shape.

Stories, or more importantly, salvaging discrete experiences from the bin of potentially meaningless (yet contiguous) events, are for the most part what cinema offers us. This is what has made Film compelling as a medium: it has the power to impose a sense of order, purpose, and interconnectedness amidst the vortex of events. Beyond this, however, I think that the most radical thing one can accomplish is to direct a viewer towards the process of his/her perception at the very moment of perceiving. I believe that this special kind of mindfulness the cinema is capable of facilitating has to be the highest aspiration of the craft.


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