Saturday, February 15, 2020



From the CIA World Factbook
Granted independence 1960
Population 15 million
95% Muslim 5% Christian
Official language: French
Interesting export item: Fish, Groundnuts
Imports: Fuels

The only Senegalese movies in any edition of the 1001 book are two movies directed by Osuman Sembene (Moolade, about female genital mutilation and Ceddo). Ceddo is about what goes on in a local village when the coming of the slave trade occurs, as well as attempts to convert the people to Christianity and later Islam. Neither of the outside factors are portrayed sympathetically, which is a good thing. I'm interested in movies that come from a different perspective than I'm used to and Ceddo is a good fit into this category of film.

Manila: In the Claws of Light

From the CIA World Factbook
Became a self-governing commonwealth in 1935
Population  105 million
80% Roman Catholic, 8% protestant
Official languages: Filipino, English
Interesting Export Item: Coconut Oil
Interesting Import Item: Plastic

The only film from the Philippines in the 1001 book is Manila: In the Claws of Light. It is about a young villager named Julio who comes to the big city of Manila to find out what happened to his girlfriend, Ligaya. He has to toil in a construction job for almost no pay and later even considers being a male escort to make ends meet. After being in Manila for over a year, he finally encounters Ligaya, who has been caught up in a sexual slavery ring during most of this time. Her life is further complicated by her giving birth and being blackmailed by her pimp into not running away.

Not unlike some other dramas of the type, this one is once again interesting in coming from the point of view of a Filipino filmmaker who is not afraid to show many of the problems inherent in his society, including the exploitation of male construction workers and girls taken into forced prostitution.

You have to admire both of these directors, who have made films that their respective governments could not have been enthusiastic about the citizens of their respective countries seeing.

No comments:

Post a Comment