Busong: Palawan Fate
When in Manila – renowned director, Auraeus Solito invites us to be immersed in a rich culture – one presented in a universe of its own.
Busong (2011) premiered for the first time in the Philippines last night, at the Shangri-la Cineplex 4 in Mandaluyong City. The film starring Alessandra de Rossi s as Punay, with Clifford Banagale (Aris), Dax Alejandro (Lulong), Rodrigo Santikan (Angkadang) and Bonivie Budao(Ninita) was previously screened in France, India, South Korea and Belgium.
Busong: Palawan Fate
Considered the first Palawanon indigenous film, “Busong” features the Palawanon concept of fate or instant Karma.
The film is about the story of Punay, a woman afflicted with mysterious wounds on her feet, preventing her from stepping on the earth. Thus, her brother, Angkadang, carries her on a hammock while they search for a healer across the forests, seas and mountains of Palawan. They meet people who help them along the way and each one meets his fate as nature reacts instantly to man’s regard to nature and to his fellow men.
The film was directed by Auraeus Solito (director of Ang Pagdadalaga ni/The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros) who comes from a lineage of Shaman-Kings from the Palawan tribe and who is one of the leading independent filmmakers from the Philippines. In this feature, he aims to retell the stories and myths he heard as a child and help the audience visualize these through film.
Asked why he chose the belief in Busong in particular, the director said that the Busong stories he heard, although told again and again, were left unfinished. Since then, he has had that nagging, overwhelming desire to know what happens, and through this film he communicates the story and the truths that he realized he knew all along.
The film has been lauded for the exceptional direction, cinematography and musical score, winning several awards during the Cinemalaya festival last year in which it was also nominated for Best Picture. In addition, Busong was an official selection at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight last year. Busong also received rave reviews in France and in several international film festivals. It won Best Director at Cinelamaya 7, the FIPRESCI International Federation of Film Critics’ Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival, and the Emile Cantillon Tomorrow’s Cinema Award at the Brussels International Festival of Independent Films.
Direk Auraeus said that given the growing interest in independent films the past few years, he expects more people to support digital film making, and the successes of films such as his make the times set for a new golden age for the cinema.
The film is considered a celebration of nature, and culture – particularly revealing how a place and a people can shape one’s personality. Moreover, it pieces together various myths to tell a story which “came from the end of the world”. Featuring the beauty of Palawan, a place at once familiar and obscure, he invites us to be immersed in its rich culture. With a cinematic spectacle allowing room for both the natural and the spiritual, we are to witness a metamorphosis that may very well be our own.
Auraeus Solitos’ Busong will screen at the Shangri-La Cineplex 4 from the 18th to the 24th of April, 2012. Don’t miss it! When in Manila