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JUNE 18-JULY 2
In the United States, Philippine cinema is among the least seen, so this series should be edifying whatever films are presented. At deadline, the lineup was not confirmed, but the tentative schedule includes eight intriguing glimpses of Philippine society. Gerardo de Leon’s 1961 Touch Me Not follows a man who returns from Europe to discover the discontent in his homeland (June 18 at 7 p.m.). Mel Chionglo’s Lahar, filmed in Pampanga province after Mount Pinatubo’s major 1992 eruption, depicts life in a tent city (June 19 at 7 p.m.). Once There Was a Moth, a 1976 film that examines the problems caused by the American military presence in the Philippines, was made by Lupita Concio, one of the country’s few women directors (June 21 at 2 p.m.). In Ishmael Bernal’s 1981 The Miracle (pictured), a peasant girl’s vision of the Virgin causes a sensation, but one photographer’s work undermines the girl’s claims (June 25 at 7 p.m.). Batch, made by Mike de Leon in 1982, is about a subject that’s unfortunately not foreign to many Americans: violent fraternity initiations (June 26 at 7 p.m.). 1979’s Pleasure Sir, also directed by Bernal, is the tale of three bar hostesses who try in vain to improve their lot (June 27 at 2 p.m.). The Quiapo Boy, Cesar Gallardo’s 1964 film about an illiterate stevedore who ultimately becomes a political leader, features Joseph Estrada, an actor who ultimately became a presidential contender (June 28 at 2 p.m.). In Bernal’s A Speck in the Water, made in Indian exile during the repressive Marcos regime, a fishing village is threatened by urbanization (July 2 at 7 p.m.). Check with the Freer for possible additions and deletions to this list. At the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th & Jefferson Dr. SW. Free. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)