Philippine Film Series

Philippine Film Series


"Empire and Memory: Repercussions and Evocations of the 1899 Philippine-American War" Explores the Relationship Between the Philippines and the United States

From February 17 to March 13, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents "Empire and Memory: Repercussions and Evocations of the 1899 Philippine-American War," a film and video series exploring the war and the often troubled relationship that resulted between the Philippine republic and the United States. After defeating Spain in the 1898 Spanish-American War, the U.S. purchased the Philippines from the Spanish. The Philippines, fighting for its independence from Spain since 1896, refused to accept foreign rule once again, and in 1899 war broke out between the United States and the Philippines. Anticipating Vietnam in its ferocity, the conflict cost at least 250,000 Filipino lives.

This film and video program, organized by the Guggenheim Museum, highlights works produced by Filipino, American, and Filipino-American artists that examine the intersections of race, nationalism, identity, and ideology, intersections that are traceable, directly or indirectly, to these moments in history. The series - consisting of documentary, narrative, and experimental film and video, as well as commercial features - is guest-curated by Luis H. Francia, poet, independent curator, and literature professor, Sarah Lawrence College, and Angel Velasco Shaw, videomaker and adjunct assistant professor in the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program, New York University, and organized by John G. Hanhardt, Senior Curator of Film and Media Arts, and Maria-Christina Villase-or, Assistant Curator of Film and Media Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Exhibition highlights include the U.S. premiere of the acclaimed film Josè Rizal (1998) by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Kidlat Tahimik's classic award-winning film Perfumed Nightmare (1977), and the rarely-screened 1899 Thomas Edison Philippine-American War re-enactment film from the Library of Congress. On February 24, a panel discussion following the 6 p.m. screening will feature the guest curators and speakers Nick Deocampo, Reynaldo Ileto, and Marina Gonzalez. This film and video series, organized by the Guggenheim Museum, will run concurrently with New York University's Asian / Pacific / American Studies Program and Institute's conference "Vestiges of War 1899-1999: The Philippine-American War and Its Aftermath."

The following are the scheduled films and videos in the series. All works are 35mm film, color, and in English, unless otherwise noted. All films are presented in the Peter B. Lewis Theater at The Sackler Center for Arts Education in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Tickets are free with museum admission and are available on the day of the screening at the admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis. All programs and screening times are subject to change.

For updated information, please call (212) 360-4321. To receive upcoming Guggenheim film mailings, please call (212) 360-4236.

Wednesday, February 17, 2:30 pm, and Friday, February 19, 7 pm
The Women of Waray Waray (1990), Fruto Corre, 16mm film; 4 min.
Jarring images of a nation in turmoil highlight this caustic broadside at Imelda Marcos.

Toxic Sunset: On the Trail of Toxic Wastes in Clark and Subic (1993), Benjamin Pimentel and Wella Lasola, 16mm film; 30 min.
This investigative report questions the extent to which U.S. military bases - ousted in 1992 - have left a dubious legacy of hazardous environmental waste.
Ganito Kami Noon, Papaano Kayo Ngayon? (As We Were) (1976), Eddie Romero; 125 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
A na*ve peasant boy wanders through the Philippine Revolution of 1896-98, witnessing the fall of the Spanish and the arrival of the Americans.

Wednesday, February 17, 6 pm, and Friday, February 19, 3 pm
First in the Philippines: A Film History of the Second Oregon Volunteer Regiment (1984), Robert Koglin, 16mm film, black-and-white; 62 min.
Drawing upon historical footage and letters, this documentary details a tour of duty during the Spanish- and Philippine-American wars.
Oro, Plata, Mata (Gold, Silver, Death) (1982), Peque Gallaga; 120 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
An elite Spanish-Filipino family disintegrates under the weight of the upheaval and cataclysmic social change caused by World War II.

Saturday, February 20, 3 pm, and Friday, February 26, 7 pm
Impeng Negro (Black Nuisance) (1998), Auraeus Solito, 16mm film; 30 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
A Filipino boy, son of a black soldier, experiences racism in a Manila ghetto.
Dreaming Filipinos (1990), Manny Reyes, 16mm film; 52 min. In English and Tagalog with English subtitles.
In a satiric exploration of cultural imperialism and identity, a teenager who dreams of living in America with his parents must first write a school essay about what it means to be a Filipino.
The Real Glory (1939), Henry Hathaway, 16mm film, black-and-white; 95 min.
An army doctor and his buddy - played by Gary Cooper and David Niven - solve all the medical and military problems facing the Muslim regions of the Philippines during the American colonial occupation.

Saturday, February 20, 7 pm, and Wednesday, February 24, 2:30 pm
Sin City Diary (1992), Rachel Rivera, video; 29 min.
Using a diary format, Rivera explores both the lives of women who work as prostitutes near the U.S. naval base at Subic Bay, and her own experiences as a Filipina-American.
White Christmas (1993), Michael Magnaye, 16mm film; 27 min.
Using a combination of Christmas icons, rituals, and personal reflections, Magnaye takes a perceptive, candid look at the Philippines five years after moving to the United States. (Screens Feb. 20 only)
Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo (Once a Moth) (1977), Lupita Aquino Kashiwahara; 99 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
A U.S. military dump site and target practice area provides a backdrop for the ironic juxtaposition of Filipinos who dream of emigrating to America and the neocolonial presence of Americans in the Philippines.

Wednesday, February 24, 6 pm
This Bloody, Blundering Business (1975), Peter Davis, 16mm film, black-and-white; 30 min.
This incisive and humorous satire of American foreign policy traces U.S. intervention in the Philippines, climaxing with the Philippine-American War.
Dalawa (1976), Lino Brocka; 45 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
In a biting allegory on the emotional state of Philippine-U.S. relationships, an impoverished teenaged mestiza (mixed-race person) desires to live with the American ex-GI father who comes to Manila to claim her. Followed by a panel discussion featuring guest curators Luis H. Franca and Angel Velasco Shaw and speakers Nick Deocampo, Reynaldo Ileto, and Marina Gonzalez.

Friday, February 26, 3 pm, and Saturday, February 27, 3 pm
Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) (1961), Gerry de Leon, black-and-white; 180 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
In this adaptation of Josè Rizal's classic 19th-century classic novel, Crisistomo Ibarra struggles against the abuses of the Spanish colonial regime.

Saturday, February 27, 7 pm
This Bloody, Blundering Business (1975). See February 24, 6 pm
Dalawa (1976). See February 24, 6 pm
A Dollar a Day, Ten Cents a Dance: A Historic Portrait of Filipino Farm Workers in America (1984), Geoffrey Dunn and Mark Schwartz, 16mm film; 30 min.
This chronicle of the history of Filipinos who migrated to the United States in the 1920s and 30s combines oral history with photos, film, and music of the period.
Thomas Edison's Reenactment Reels on the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War (1899), Thomas A. Edison, 16mm film, black-and-white, silent; 15 min.
In these shorts, African-Americans are used to (mis)represent Filipinos and Cubans.

Wednesday, March 3, 2 pm, and Friday, March 5, 7 pm
Back to Bataan (1945), Edward Dymytryk, black-and-white; 95 min.
John Wayne leads Filipinos and Americans - with Anthony Quinn as the grandson of a Filipino patriot - in underground resistance against the Japanese during World War II.
Back to Bataan Beach (1995), Ernesto M. Foronda, 16mm film; 9 min.
Foronda deploys Hollywood movie archetypes to create a post-punk version of the search for Filipino identity, framed as the trailer for a tropical Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach film.
No Milk But There's Always Coke, or Back to Bataan Beach II (1998), Ernesto M. Foronda, video; 6 min.
The second part of Back to Bataan Beach examines the pervasiveness of American popular culture through the iconic and ubiquitous image of Coca-Cola.
Tupada '92 (Cockfight '92) (1995), Fruto Corre, video; 38 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
A clairvoyant offers predictions, kids mimic election rallies, men compare their fighting cocks to the candidates, and an Imelda Marcos impersonator wades in the swamp of her former glory in this biting critique of Philippine politics.
Beats, Rhymes, Resistance (1998), L. De Leon, Dawn Mabalon, and J.S. Ramos, video; 15 min.
Filipino-American deejays present their version of L.A. hip-hop subculture as a way of maintaining their cultural integrity.

Wednesday, March 3, 6 pm, and Friday, March 5, 3 pm
Umbilical Cord (1998), Angel Velasco Shaw, video; 42 min.
This video kaleidoscope addresses heroism and the roles of women in Philippine society by interweaving depictions of current events and pop culture with archival footage and photos.
The Fall of the I-Hotel (1983), Curtis Choy, 16mm film; 57 min.
Early Filipino sojourners in America struggle to keep San Francisco's Manilatown intact by preventing the demolition of the neighborhood heart, the International Hotel.
Bayani (Hero) (1992), Raymond Red, 16mm film; 83 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
The stylized first feature by the former wunderkind of Philippine indie cinema loosely narrates the story of national hero Andres Bonifacio and the Revolution of 1896.

Saturday, March 6, 3 pm, and Wednesday, March 10, 6 pm
Liham Para sa Mga Kababaihan (Letter to Women) (1998), Nancy Pe-Rodrigo and Amelia Rogel-Rara, video; 27 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.Individual lives dramatize the overall role of women in Philippine society in a consideration of such influences as Spanish and American colonialism.
Revolutions Happen Like Refrains in a Song (1987), Nick Deocampo, Super-8mm film; 50 min.
Personal revelations and sexuality intertwine with the 1986 People Power Revolution that saw the Marcos regime toppled.
Mababango'ng Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare) (1977), Kidlat Tahimik, 16mm film; 90 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
In a semiautobiographical fable, a young Filipino awakens to, and reacts imaginatively against, his own colonial upbringing while on a jaunt through Europe.

Saturday, March 6, 7 pm, and Wednesday, March 10, 2 pm
Bontoc Eulogy (1995), Marlon Fuentes, 16mm film, black-and-white; 56 min.
This pseudodocumentary reconstructs the story of Filipinos brought to the United States as curios for the profit of exhibitors, beginning with the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
Los Ultimos de Filipinas (The Last of the Philippines) (1945), A. Roman, black-and-white; 97 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.Based on a true story, a holdout Spanish army unit fighting Filipino revolutionaries serves as a symbol for the last days of the Spanish empire in the Philippines.

Friday, March 12, 3 pm, and Saturday, March 13, 7 pm
Rizal (1998), Marilou Diaz-Abaya, color/black-and-white; 178 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
National hero Josè Rizal, executed by the Spanish and apotheosized by the Americans, is depicted as an artist and a compassionate intellectual in this heralded biographical epic.

Friday, March 12, 7 pm, and Saturday, March 13, 3 pm
A Saudi Slave (1996), International Dispatch, video; 40 min. In English and Tagalog with English subtitles.
A Filipina domestic worker in Saudi Arabia is enslaved and escapes in this document of the plight of overseas contract workers.
Boatman (1984), Tikoy Aguiluz; 115 min. In Tagalog with English subtitles.
A young provincial boatman turned Manila live-sex performer pins his hopes for the future on a well-connected American woman but is tragically disappointed.

January 29, 1999


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