Filipino or American? The strange provenance of silent film fest’s opening film
Now on its fifth year, The International Silent Film Festival continues this weekend with screenings of notable silent movies from Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Aside from the participation of Greece this year, the festival is extra special as the Philippines takes a more active role beyond just playing host.
A 1934 silent film called Brides of Sulu will be the opening film of the three-day festival, with the screening scheduled at 7 p.m. tonight (Aug. 26).
Starring Filipino actors Adelina Moreno and Eduardo de Castro, the 47-minute drama movie is about a beautiful Moro princess and her lover, a pagan pearl diver, as they defy religious laws to be together.
Beautifully filmed on location in Sulu using local Moro tribesmen, this forgotten silent film provides a rare glimpse into a lost culture.
Film archivist and specialist Teddy Co from the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film said the Philippine movie industry produced roughly around 75 silent films from 1912 to 1933.
“Sadly, all of the titles are deemed to be lost forever due to the absence of any film preservation efforts, up until the 1970s,” Mr. Co told reporters last week.