One of the films that Filipinos should be proud of is Auraeus Solito’s ‘Busong’ dubbed as a material that transcends the border between documentary and fiction, which deals with animism and is very close to nature as described by Frederic Boyer of Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. The film made it as one of 21 (short, feature and documentary) films from all over the world.
The late and veteran director Lino Brocka’s ‘Insiang’, Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Foster Child’ and Raya Martin’s ‘Now Showing’—were among those Filipino films that went through the Directors’ Fortnight prior to getting into the main competition and Un Certain Regard (a more daring and experimental section), respectively.
‘Busong’ is based on true stories in South Palawan but transformed into a metaphorical allegory of today’s happenings. Some of its footages are a mix of my actual relatives and actual experiences with the myth of ‘Angkadang’ and ‘Punay’ (the two main characters).
Solito was asked on why he chose ‘Busong’ as entry, he shared his thoughts, “My mother told me stories of her hometown in the remotest part of Southern Palawan to put me to sleep when I was a kid.
“I grew up imagining this land full of magic and shamans, of mythical creatures and powerful spells. I have known the concept of ‘Busong’ since I was young.”
According to Solito, ‘Busong’ as a metaphor is powerful. It is works like‘karma’—for it paints the effects of what humans do to nature and what humans do to themselves as well.
“When I went home to Palawan and rediscovered that I belong to the indigenous Palaw’an tribe (where the origin of the name of Palawan came from), I witnessed a beautiful culture that is endangered to be wiped-out due to outside forces and greed of the modern man. This film is my weapon against this greed,” he emphasized.
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