Lost and foundBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
From July 23 at 3:30 p.m. to July 27, Cinemalaya 2012 will screen a long-forgotten experimental film, “Recuerdo of Two Sundays and Two Roads That Lead To The Sea,” at the CCP’s Dream Theater. Produced and edited by Bibsy Carballo, with script by Emmanuel Torres, cinematography by Romeo Vitug, music by Michael Dadap, and narration by Ray Pedroche, the “old” indie, which was produced in 1969, is part of the festival’s focus on early indie productions.“Recuerdo” tells the story of old Navotas, “. . . where the lives of its people are inexorably bound to the sea. It focuses on various funeral processions, some participated in by many mourners, others far more humble in comparison and contrast – to telling effect.”
As we viewed the short film in preview mode, we were struck by its striking and telling images, visual corollaries that underscored the inexorable cycles of life – and death.
The “forgotten” production also reminded us of the importance of film not just as a conduit for dramatic or comedic experiences, but also as a preserver of and eyewitness to life as it once unfolded – and may never again otherwise be recalled and retrieved.
That’s why all movies are important, for many different reasons, and film preservation and restoration should be one of our prime advocacies, not just in the cinematic arts, but in history and our other reflective activities, as well.
Even simple shots of a town’s streets or the details of an old funeral hearse are valuable, because they could be recording a reality that no longer exists, four decades after the fact.
Specifically, because Navotas is a seaside community, one wonders if the entire cemetery by the sea is still there, or has already been claimed by those inexorable waves, along with its dead “inhabitants’’’ bones. All the more reason, then, for us to value films like “Recuerdo,” for the memories they harbor, for new generations to view, savor – and “remember.”
For more information on this year’s edition of Cinemalaya, visit www.cinemalaya.org. “Recuerdo” is available for screenings in school. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 0917 899-1835.
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