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USA, 1987 (MIFF 1988, Documentary)

Director: Christian Blackwood

Following last year's screening of Christian Blackwood's look at obsessive film random and star imagery My Life for Zarah Leander, we now present his latest documentary account of similarly cine-centric but significantly different drives and dreams. For the past two decades, Filipino filmmaker Lino Brocka has used his considerable energies and professional skills to speak out against the corrupt Marcos administration and support the Aquino 'revolution' of 1986. Brocka is seen by his countrymen as a genuine political hero worthy of their respect, support and love. As framed in Blackwood's moving portrait, Brocka discusses his childhood in the post-WW2 Philippines and how incorporated into his films are his Catholic upbringing and his Mormon missionary service. We are taken onto the sets of two of his most recent movies, over-the-top melodramas about which he has no illusions - their success, as commercial soap operas will help finance more seriously critical, socio-political works. Brocka also addresses his homosexuality and there are revelatory clips from his long-lost 1970 “gay" movie, Goldplated. Blackwood's film, which also depicts an important page of world events unfolding - the aftermath of the Marcos regime - reveals Brocka as a committed artist involved in public and personal struggles, all the time his passion, his intense generosity of spirit, his humour ringing loud and clear. Winner of the 1987 Chicago Film Festival's Gold Plaque, the 1987 Nyon International Documentary Festival's Special Jury Awards, the 1988 Berlin Film Festival Forum's Peace Film Prize and the 1988 San Francisco Film Festival's Special Jury Award - P.K.

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