Funded primarily by the profits earned from working for mainstream cinema, Anino sa Likod ng Buwan (Shadow Behind the Moon) is a “passion project” which strives to engage in non-traditional ways of storytelling, accomplished filmmaker Jun Robles Lana said June 25 in a masterclass held at U-View, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City.
Citing influences from the 1920s German Expressionism movement, Lana described the creative choices he made in creating the one-shot-one-sequence film such as its “boxed” aspect ratio and its “VHS look” which, according to him, gave the film its “spirit.” In the tradition of the Expressionist movement, this he said, reflects the mind and the suffering of the characters portrayed in the film.
Set in Marag Valley, Apayao in the 90s, the film tackles controversial themes such as brutalities and human rights violations that allegedly happened in the region when the struggle between the Philippine military and the communist movement reached a climax.
“Interested ako sa cinema of the oppressed (I am interested in the cinema of the oppressed),” the director said regarding his motivation in directing a film concerned with those caught in the crossfire in the valley.
Lana also described a “motif of displacement” which characterizes the “archaic” writing of the screenplay’s dialogue. Through this, the filmmaker said he attempts to portray the narrative as something “absurd, unreal” and yet true.
The masterclass was preceded by a screening of his 120-minute, one-shot cinematic masterpiece starring LJ Reyes, Luis Alandy, and Anthony Falcon, an event organized by Filipino pride movement Yabang Pinoy.
As of the present, the film has received international recognition, being nominated for categories such as Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Screenplay at the Gawad Urian Awards, and winning the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival, for Best Feature Film.
A theatrical release of Anino sa Likod ng Buwan (Shadow Behind the Moon) is slated on July 20 at select cinemas to be announced soon.