We have right to express ourselves through our films: Jun Robles Lana
The film through its story aims at showing the world the present state of affairs in Philippines.
Filipino filmmaker Jun Robles Lana employs a triangle love story to unravel the deep tensions in the Filipino society in his emotionally dense ‘Shadow Behind the Moon’. Though the film, suffused in a bleak sepia tone, seems taken in a single unbroken shot, the filmmaker concedes that it was not exactly a single-take film. It is taken in five long shots, which is as much as logistical nightmare. The film through its story aims at showing the world the present state of affairs in Philippines. Mr. Lana talks to Atul Abdul Khader about the motivation for creating such a film and the difficulties he faced while making it.
What were the difficulties that you faced while making the film?
This film is made to look like a one-shot one-take film but in reality we had to divide it into five parts as the camera can record only up to 20-25 minutes. Still it was a difficult process, because the moment an actor, or my cinematographer who is an unseen actor in this process, makes a wrong move we had to start all over again. This was the major difficulty and it was pretty frustrating. Even otherwise filmmaking was made difficult by the volatile political unrest in the country.
What was the reason behind choosing this subject, about an old arms struggle?
I always wanted to do a movie about arms struggle. This story is based on an incident that happened in 1994, but just a few months ago the same thing happened in Philippines, the same situation the same problem, innocent people being displaced, because of the military conflict, not just being displaced but being murdered, and I think the struggle of the people who are caught in the arms struggle are underrepresented, and it’s important for stories like this to come up and go out to other countries.
How did the government and the censor board respond to this film?
The film hasn’t received a wide screening in Philippines, except for three shows at a local film festival which doesn’t require a censor certificate. The official release of the movie in Philippines is set for next year. So as of now there hasn’t been any response from the government or the censor board, but I am really worried about showing it to the censor board as it’s not an easy film to watch and at the same time it might draw people the wrong way, especially those in power. But I want to believe that we are a democracy, and we have the right to express ourselves through our films the way we want to, unafraid of what others might think.
How did the people at the local festival respond to your film?
The responses were fantastic; but as a Filipino it’s horrifying to watch something like this. You just realise that this thing is really happening to our country men. Many people came up to me crying and telling me their relatives experienced this.
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( Source : deccan chronicle )