Indio Nacional (Raya Martin, 2005)

Indio Nacional (Raya Martin, 2005)


The 2006 French Film Festival opens with a platter of recent Gallic offerings and a few classics, but easily the most interesting and imaginative of the lot isn't even French. Raya Martin, who just attended the Cinefondation Residence du Festival de Cannes--possibly the world's most prestigious filmmaking residency--is holding the Philippine premiere of his latest work: "Maicling Pelicula Nang Ysang Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan)" (A Short Film About the Indio Nacional (Or the Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos), 2005).


The ninety-six minute film can be described as a conceit in the guise of a dream doubling as a memory told to us as a mystery. It begins with a woman lying on her mat, trying to sleep; she sits up, staring into space, and it's difficult not to read all kinds of emotions into her face--restlessness, dissatisfaction, impatience, even a kind of despair; outside dogs bark and crickets relentlessly chirp, but otherwise (you can tell from the ambient sound) the darkness is still and deep.


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