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BUNSO (The Youngest) documentary on children in prisons in the Philippines

Catch the premiere screening of BUNSO (a documentary on children in prisons in the Philippines)
venue: ImaginAsian Theatre
239 E. 59th st. (bet 2nd and 3rd avenue)
Date: May 24, Wednesday
Time: 7:30pm
ticket: $10
Q and A with the filmmakers follows after the screening
For ticket reservations: email: undergroundpictures@yahoo.com or call 917 476 7807

by nana buxani at 2006-05-11 00:32:08 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) nyc , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

24 May 2006 00:05
This would be very interesting. I might be able to see it.

by Max Pasion | 11 May 2006 11:05 | Jersey City, NJ, United States | | Report spam→
very good thank’s
is there a french version ?
take care

by Stephane Lehr | 11 May 2006 11:05 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Would love to watch the documentary, looks very interesting. is it possible to order a copy somehow, can I find it on amazon or elsewhere?



by Nina-Maria Pashalidou | 14 May 2006 16:05 | Athens, Greece | | Report spam→
carina evangelista <carina.evangelista@gmail.com> wrote:

Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 11:03:22 -0400 From: “carina evangelista” <carina.evangelista@gmail.com> To: pinoyartistsnyc@googlegroups.com Subject: Re: Congratulations to all for BUNSO’s successful screening I felt really bad not having been able to catch last Wednesday’s screening but Toti, you’re right about the “gitla” factor of Ditsi and Nana’s films. Ditsi, Margaret wants to see your film a third time and is even encouraging her son and her grandchildren to see it, too. I know you’re in the midst of receiving a lot of fan mail but here was an email exchange between Renato and me after we saw “Bunso” early this year. I think the evidence of the power of a film is the amount of discussion it generates. FROM RENATO: thanks for the invite, Carina. i thought the film was quite an experience—very well edited and packed with many moments that give you insight into the problem. to me, the film’s climax was the bunso’s “trial” were he faces his mother and his jail companions. what an incredible face off. the child is gifted with clarity inspite of all the pain, suffering, threats, and jeering. that scene alone says many things about this society we live in and the many myths perpetuated in this culture. listen to the bunso bring up the issue of rank—even police who have rank get imprisoned for beating others, what more his parents. and the mother replies by pointing out that she outranks the police simply because “i gave birth to you, so i have the right to kill you.” the bunso challenges her to do so and put him out of his misery. they try to shut him up and call his defiance misbehaviour. they threaten him with isolation and imprisonment with the “crazies.” but he has to speak his truth. that’s the perpetuation of myths and the rule by the majority over there…the bunso is an incredible child. the editing and camera work was masterfully done. even without a voice over narrative the film’s direction was clear. i like lean productions, simple and layered presentations. it’s made more powerful by this kind of treatment, because this way you see so much more. FROM ME: Yes, Bunso’s “trial” was nothing short of riveting. For me, the most powerful indictment of the film is the hypocrisy and the skewed logic of all the grown-ups. Everything that came out of the babe’s mouth—despite the crowd’s derision—was not only true but highly intelligent. His mind was so sharp, quick, and lucid because it is driven by true logic and not by societal illogic. All that the grown-ups could retort were threats and silly invocations of bowls of chili. But his body language was heart-rending to watch. He was in turns flailing his arms and then tucking them under his thighs or tight close to his chest. You could feel his desperation. He knew that if he didn’t get out soon, he was done for. And his soul was decrying the betrayal of the horror of a mother who would assuage her guilt by visiting him in jail but in fact has obviously left him there so that he’s one less mouth to feed and one less life to nurture. The hypocrisy of the adults was astounding, even Tony’s mother’s neighbor scolding him to get rid of his vices when his very parents were the king and queen of vice themselves. Finally, one can tell that the reason these boys landed in jail is not just from their desperation to survive but primarily because in fact they are indeed intelligent. Intelligent enough to understand that singing those church songs to dark-tinted windows all day would not exactly feed them. Intelligent enough to understand and embody Robin Hood without having the literary reference at all. I find nothing but tenderness and elegance—absolute sophistication—in these bare-footed kids who know something about life and the world no philosopher could ever attain. And the issues that could be tackled expand exponentially: from the ache in our hearts as we hear the pure sound of a boy’s singing to the child’s fight by sheer tightened fist and gritted teeth; the poverty that itself is prison to young and adult, cop and robber alike; the violence wreaked by poverty; the unspoken hell wrought by economic injustice that affects lives whose faces have been rendered abstract when they are referred to as “the huddled masses” when in fact what is blighted is the pure voice of a child forsaken by the world it was born to and what is bludgeoned is the pure love of a mother pushed to the bottle by her misery. Who could have rendered better an image of Pieta than that captured moment when the boy laid his tired head on his mother’s lap? Ditsi and Nana’s mastery is in portraiture. The subjects’ humanity is so pure no matter how squalid and oppressive their circumstances might be that they speak directly to the humanity of their audience. We as viewers are left with a complex cocktail of shame, humility, compassion, rage, and ultimately fraternity—the most effective catalyst for activism. You begin to see the abject as someone who could very well be your brother and you cannot help but screech and rail at the system that dares reduce him to a tattered shirt and a wet floor on which to sleep. James Baldwin wrote: ’’It is a terrible, an inexorable, law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own: in the face of one’s victim, one sees oneself." The lust for dignity that these children displayed enjoins us to shed the hypocrisy of notions of our own humanity if we cannot protect and honor theirs.

by nana buxani | 19 May 2006 12:05 | nyc, United States | | Report spam→

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nana buxani, Photographer, Filmmaker nana buxani
Photographer, Filmmaker
(freelance documentary photogra)
Manila , Philippines
Max Pasion, Street Photographer Max Pasion
Street Photographer
Bayonne, Nj , United States ( EWR )
Stephane Lehr, Photojournalist Stephane Lehr
Paris , France
Nina-Maria Pashalidou, Writer/Journalist Nina-Maria Pashalidou
Washington Dc , United States


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