Philippines Cinema

By | March 9, 2022

The term new wave, very often used inappropriately, is certainly fitting to address a discourse on the new Filipino cinema, the one that established itself internationally in the early 2000s (the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, followed, later, by other exhibitions of cinema, such as, for example, that of Pesaro, have helped to create awareness and arouse interest in this cinematography as it has not happened since the days of Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal). The new wave that from Manila shakes the world cinema scene is driven by an unstoppable expressive urgency, so strong as to overturn the condition of lack of production, in which the film makers find themselves operating, in a resource of unprecedented formal radicalisms.

In addition to Lav Diaz (and before that Roque Federizon Lee, alias Roxlee, b. 1950, pioneer of film animation) there are many, among the new generation, who choose to join the military, with a punk attitude, in independent cinema. Like Khavn Nicolas de la Cruz, stage name Khavn (b. 1973; Ang pamilyang kumakain ng lupa, 2005, known as The family that eats soil ; Iskwaterpangk, 2007, known as Squatterpunk ; Philippine new wave: this is not a film movement, 2010), irrepressible director, restless agitated cultural king (he is director of the MOV / International film music and literature Festival), author of the Digital dekalogo, a programmatic manifesto that sees in digital cinema, proudly exhibited, a revolutionary expressive possibility with which the nations of the Third World can fight the “rigid paradigm, long supported by the West as the only way to make films” (Dodo Dayao, screenwriter, director of Violator, 2014, in Philippine new wave, http: // www.

Equally extreme in formal choices, but not as uncompromising as Khavn in terms of support, Raya Martin (b.1984 ; Maicling pelicula nañg ysañg Indio Nacional, 2005, known as A short film about the Indio nacional ; Autohystoria, 2007; Independencia, 2009; La última película, 2013) casually uses film and digital, in a very personal path that places him at the top of international cinematography. The clandestinity, adopted by the Filipino people to preserve their freedom from the various colonizations, is the founding trait, both aesthetic and productive, of Martin’s directorial gesture, in continuous dialogue between historical memory and film processing. Among the most radical directors John Torres (Todo todo teros, 2006; Ang ninanais, 2010, known as Refrains happen like revolutions in a song; Lukas nino, 2013, known as Lukas the strange), author of a path that could be defined ethnographic-psychedelic, indebted to the Philippine poetic tradition, and Gym Lumbera (Anak araw, 2012, known as Albino), probably the most anarchic personality, determined to explore subversive expressive solutions compared to what is imposed by a colonization carried out also from the point of view of the standardization of the imaginary. Almost an outsider within the contemporary new wave, Brillante Mendoza (b.1960 ; Foster child, 2007; Tirador, 2007; Serbis, 2008; Kinatay, 2009, Kinatay – Massacre ; Captive, 2012) that elaborates immersive, ‘experiential’ sets; a staging of reality obtained by making elements of fiction interact with others of documentary derivation.


Pilipino, an evolution of the Tagalog language, is spoken by about half of the population, especially in the North, alongside about eighty local languages; common are English, also in teaching, and Spanish.

Philippines Cinema