Films & Schedules

  • Bayan Ko: My Own Country
    Bayan Bayan Ko, Kapit sa Patalim

  • Joan Dupont

  • Lino Brocka

The Philippines
108 minutes

Production Company:
Malaya Films/Stephan Films
José F. Lacaba
Conrado Baltazar
George Jarlego, Hero Reyes, Robert Yugeco
Jess Santiago
Principal Cast: Phillip Salvador, Gino Alajar, Paquito Diaz, Claudia Zobel

Tuesday September 0909:30PM JACKMAN HALL - AGO Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Bayan Ko: My Own Country was the well-deserved recipient of last year's prestigious British Film Institute Award for most outstanding film, and it is not difficult to see why: the film is uncompromising in its vision of present-day Filipino society. Set against the backdrop of Benigno Aquino's assassination, Bayan Ko tells its story of a young printer whose life is a series of rapidly diminishing options. His pregnant wife needs expensive medicine and, because of this and the strike at his factory, Turing is eventually lured into a life of crime by a small-time hood. Widely acclaimed as the Filipino Man of Iron, Brocka's film also manages to suggest how, given a different social and economic system, Turing's fate might have been altered.”

– David Overbey, 1985

The last film from the Philippines to screen in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival until Brillante Mendoza's Serbis (which is playing here this year), Bayan Ko: My Own Country almost didn't make it to Cannes. While authorities in the Philippines attempted to ban the film, Lino Brocka smuggled a print into France. When its screening caused a furor due to the film's potent criticism of the Marcos regime, Brocka's passport was revoked upon his return home (it was later reinstated).

David Overbey was among the first writers and programmers to champion Philippine cinema. He was also one of the early supporters and a close friend of Lino Brocka, whose powerful and acclaimed body of work and uncompromising vision helped bring international attention to the struggles of the poor and marginalized in his home country, and launched Philippine filmmaking on the world stage. Brocka's death in an automobile accident in 1991 brought an untimely end to a talent widely hailed as the Philippines' most important filmmaker.

We are privileged that Joan Dupont will joining us for this screening. Joan first met David at The Paris Metro, an English-language bi-weekly, and credits him for encouraging her to write profiles. In 1981, she did an exclusive interview with Brocka in Manila for Le Monde, behind the back of the authorities, which David was able to make possible. Joan will share her insights into David's career and his relationship to Lino Brocka and his films.

Allen Braude

Joan Dupont divides her time between Paris and New York City. She has been reporting on the arts since the late seventies and currently contributes to the International Herald Tribune, among other publications. She covered the opening of Le Centre Pompidou in Paris for Time magazine, and has written profiles on Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eric Rohmer and Rudolf Nureyev for The New York Times and on Patricia Highsmith, Mark Morris and Gérard Depardieu for The New York Times Magazine. Her other credits include writing on filmmakers Agnès Varda, Raymond Depardon, Claude Chabrol, Sergio Leone, Alain Resnais, Wong Kar-wai, Edward Yang and Ang Lee.

Cadillac People's Choice Award