Brutus

Brutus image
(2008, 110 minutes)
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Korean Studies Auditorium 6:30 PM

Tara Illenberger’s Brutus (the name given to laborers — many of them juveniles — hired by unlicensed loggers to drag lumber through forests and transport it by raft to distant destinations) is an advocacy film. It was awarded the Jury Prize in the 4th Cinemalaya Film Festival precisely “for courageously and effectively drawing the audience’s attention to the complex dynamics between the exploitation of cultural communities and the degradation of the environment.” The film, about the journey of two Mangyan children (charmingly played by Timothy Mabalot and Rhea Medina) to the lowlands to deliver a load of illegal lumber, tackles several pertinent subjects, from the degradation of the forests by the proliferation of illegal loggers to the undue eviction of the indigenous Mangyans from the fertile lowlands to the forests. The film is gorgeously shot by cinematographer Jay Abello and expertly scored by Joey Ayala, providing the film with visual and musical flair. -Francis “Ogg” Cruz
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