Raya Martin does not lack for ambition. A rising young star of Filipino cinema with seven films chronicling the history of his country already under his belt, Martin initially received laudatory notices for 2005’s A Short Film About the Indio Nacional (or the Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos), has completed the first two parts of a planned “Box Office Trilogy” (Now Showing and Next Attraction), and now with this year’s Independencia can claim to be the first filmmaker to represent the Philippines in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard competition. He’s all of 25 years old. Independencia is obviously the work of a promising filmmaker, yet even while it displays confidently sumptuous imagery in the service of a cleverly ironic critical indictment of cultural colonialism, it also betrays an incoherence and incompleteness that a more seasoned talent would most likely not commit to celluloid. Click here to read the rest of Michael Joshua Rowin’s review of Independencia.
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