Friday, March 19, 2010

Lupang Hinarang (2009)

Lupang Hinarang (Ditsi Carolino, 2009)
English Translation: Hindered Land

Ditsi Carolino’s Lupang Hinarang (roughly translated in English as Hindered Land), a two-part documentary about the failure of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act, screened during last year’s edition of Cinemalaya as a work-in-progress. The documentary has all the ingredients for late-night editorial-political television programming. However, what Carolino does is both simple and magical. By following the farmers in their symbolic battles (the Cuenca farmers staged a 29-day hunger strike in front of the Agrarian Reform headquarters; while the Bukidnon farmers walked all the way from Bukidnon to Manila), allowing the farmers to tell or show their own stories without need of intervention, and ultimately relegates the politics to the background, she molds what possibly could be the most poignant, urgent and pertinent advocacy-oriented film in recent years. Editing hundreds of hours of footage into a tightly weaved package showcases Carolino’s talent for taut storytelling and efficient filmmaking. Creating a masterpiece that moved an entire audience to sobs and tears for people whose lives and dilemmas they would hardly know or care for showcases Carolino’s sincerity, selflessness, and compassion, three traits I wish more of our filmmakers had. The fact that the documentary is still a work-in-progress is quite troubling, evoking a sense that there are still so much promises of land grants that remain hindered and unfulfilled.

(First published in The A/V Club, Philippine Star, 19 March 2010; Richard Bolisay, Dodo Dayao and Philbert Dy's recommendations can be read here; Gang Badoy's beautifully written tribute to Alexis Tioseco and introduction to The A/V Club can be read here)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read your blog, I am interested. :D where can I find this documentary? I really wanted to watch..