‘Busong’: From Palawan to Cannes
Few paths lead from the Philippine island of Palawan to Cannes, but Auraeus Solito found one.
The Philippine director’s new film, “Busong,” is the culmination of a lifelong goal to spread the legends of his family’s tribal origins. The film weaves three distinct stories around a central tale about a brother in search of a cure for his ailing sister: Along the way, he encounters a lonely woman looking for her husband, a young fisherman who has lost his boat and a city man returning to his homeland after years away.
The film had its premiere Monday during the Directors’ Fortnight, a parallel event at the Cannes Film Festival. It stars Philippine actress Alessandra de Rossi, Filipino-American actor Clifford Bañagale, and a mix of professional actors and Mr. Solito’s indigenous relatives. “I believe tonight is the right time for the world to see the Palawan universe,” he said at the premiere.
Mr. Solito, who is 42 years old, is one of several independent Philippine directors whose films have gained international prominence over the past decade. Their films often use the perennial problems facing the country—poverty, corruption and the tortured legacy of the Marcos years—as a backdrop to explore familial bonds.