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BADJAO

Republic of the Philippines, 1957 (MIFF 1959, Programme 8)

Director: L. Avellana

Intermarriage in the face of conflicting customs and tribal prejudices is viewed through this unusual story of the Badjao and Moro tribes. The Badjao is a pagan tribe of sea gypsies of the Philippines which seldom goes on land and will soon become extinct.

Hassan, son of the Badjao chief, defies tradition for the love of Bala Amai, and leaves the sea to settle in her village. But adjustment is difficult. and opposition eventually forces him, with Bala. to return to the sea. Their reception here, too, is cold, but when they subject their new-born child to an ancient form of baptism in the Badjao custom. Hassan is restored. as chief, and his wife accepted as a member of the clan.

The film won awards at the 1957 Asian Film Festival for best direction, scenario, editing and photography.

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