1901, Balangiga. Eight-year-old Kulas flees town with his grandfather and their carabao to escape General Smith’s Kill & Burn order. He finds a toddler amid a sea of corpses and together, the two boys struggle to survive the American occupation.
Balangiga: Howling Wilderness is a story about an escape. In 1901, Balangiga, an eight-year-old boy, Kulas and his grandfather attempt to escape the contaminated land as General Smith issued the "Kill and Burn" order. After rescuing an infant abandoned in the middle of the sea of dead bodies, the Kulas party begins a hard journey to the wilderness of Samar. The journey of Kulas goes through the places left with physical, emotional and psychological remnants of looting and violence of the USA. KHAVN illustrates how contradictory identities of the Philippines have been formed through migration and separation. An interesting fact is that the film is an allegory completely told by the child’s perspective. Like the many examples of the tragedy and the brutal history depicted through the child’s eye, the political implications and suggestions in the film are relatively clear. Balangiga: Howling Wilderness which belongs to a part of Philippine history, plays with images and shapes the fear of reality in an unconventional style. [JANG Byungwon]
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