Mr. Li (2019)
Director: Mike De Leon, Tom Estrera III, Carlo Fajarda
Runtime: 8 min
“[Mr. Li] is about our country’s subservience to China. It was inspired by footage I shot of a middle-aged Red Guard singing one of Mao’s revolutionary songs all by himself” (Mike De Leon).
Biyaya ng Lupa (Bounty of the Earth, 1959)
Director: Manuel Silos
Language: Filipino; English subtitles
Runtime: 111 min
Mike De Leon considers Bounty of the Earth “one of the most outstanding achievements of LVN Pictures. It is truly a timeless film, as moving today as it was in 1959 when it was first released.” The studio director Manuel Silos was largely known for his broad romantic comedies and musicals, so few were prepared for the deeply felt social realism of this family drama. “It was a non-commercial movie with no big stars,” he writes, “but it dealt with rural life, the earth’s bounty, the corrupting influence of the big city—themes close to my grandmother’s heart [Doña Sisang, the founder of LVN Pictures]. The film is packed with biblical allusions as it tells the story of a provincial couple, aptly named Jose and Maria (Tony Santos and Rosa Rosal), the children they raise, the challenges and tragedies that shake their family’s foundation, and the determination to overcome the misfortunes with their values and faith in Divine Providence intact.”
Please note: little survives of the film library of LVN studios, and what does survive is generally in poor condition. We nonetheless present these rare films so that Singaporean audiences can experience them for the first time.
This screening is part of Retrospective: Mike De Leon. For the full programme, please click here.
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