At the heart of the Carlos Bulosan Centennial Celebration is the November 14 “The Empire Is In The Heart” Conference at the University of Washington, which boasts international intellectuals and academics. And besides engaging local events, the celebration brings three must-see cultural events from California, New York, and Pilipinas.
Screening of “Delano Manongs” by Marissa Aroy on Thursday November 13 at 6:00 p.m. Free.UW Ethnic Cultural Center 3931 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle.
Slated for a PBS showing in 2015 and previewed at the 2014 FANHS National Conference, this exceptional documentary tells the Filipino labor history missing in the film Chavez. In “Delano Manongs,” Marissa Aroy painstakingly researched and spliced together historical footage, voice recordings of farm labor leader Larry Itliong, and footage of Chavez union co-founder Dolores Huerta to accurately tell the story of Filipino organizing in the Valley. Of historical significance is Itliong pushing Chavez to have the Mexicans strike with the Filipinos in 1965. This led to the national grape boycott and the creation of the United Farm Workers Union. Sadly, no good deed goes unpunished. The Filipinos who struck did not benefit from the resulting labor contract. If you are still pissed off, like I am, about the Chaves film producers’ intentional disrespect, get all your peeps to see this film and spread the truth about Filipino-Mexican worker collaboration.
Post-film Q&A with filmmaker Marissa Arroy, union organizer Emma Catague and historian Itliong’s life-long friend Rey Pascua.
“The Romance of Magno Rubio” playreading on Saturday, November 15 at 3:30 p.m. Massive Monkees Studio, 662 South King, in Seattle Chinatown International District.
Carlos Bulosan’s short story was adopted into this play by Lonnie Carter. Produced in 2002 in New York by Ma-Yi Theatre, “The Romance of Magno Rubio” won 8 Obies (Off Broadway), telling the story of Filipino farm workers’ life of courage, perseverance, and loneliness. Break your heart for Magno as he pursues an Arkansas blondie who scams him for all that he is worth. Carter’s script is rich. It’s only right that this Bulosan jewel will be read in the Chinatown ID, his home base. The play has yet to be produced in Seattle.
Special introduction by Todd London, 2002 Obie advocate for Magno and incoming CEO for the UW Theater Department. Post-reading Q&A with Lonnie Carter, director Ben Gonio, actors Arnaldo Inocentes, Daniel Arreola, Manny Golez, Manuel Cawaling, and Tony Colinares, with producer Maria Batayola, co-chair of Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts. Free campo kamayan* dinner to follow with ube cheesecake treat from Food & Sh*t. (*Eating with your hands, no utensils.)
“Norte, Hanggananng Kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History)” on Sunday, November 16 at 3:30 p.m. Subtitled. Free. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue, Seattle.
If you‘re a Lav Diaz fan, skip this intro. “Norte, Hanggananng Kasaysayan” is a film to be savored—a slow, delicious, emotional, thought provoking masterpiece shot in Kenji Mizoguchi style with elegant long-takes using wide angles with depth staging. It’s 250 minutes—bring snacks and drinks if you must.
At a time when Filipinos are diaspora’d and losing optimism in solving the nation’s continuous “under developing” trajectory caused by colonialism, classism, global capitalism, and its devil child corruption, Lav Dias’ film about the normalcy of morality in an abnormal time takes hold. Told through the intertwined stories of Fabian, an intellectual who believes the only way to stop evil is to kill it given apathy, his actions are disastrous to others leading to his own ruin. During this downward spiral, Diaz shines a light on elements of Filipino resiliency—acceptance, adaptation, abiding love, spirituality, perseverance and kindness.
Norte accolades include: 2013 Cannes Film Festival Prix Un Certain Regard Nominee, 2013 Cinemanila Int’l Film Festival for Best Director, 2013 International Cinephile Society Award for Best Picture, Nuremberg Int’l Human Rights Film Festival won said Award and 2014 Gawad Urian Award 10 nominations, winning 5 awards for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay, and Cinematography. Kudos to Lav and his producer Moira Lang (Raymond Lee).
Post viewing discussion. Email IE for continuous dialogue or coffee at Eastern.
P.S. If you want to really savor Norte, break up your viewing time and create your personal mini film fest. Norte also shows from November 14 to 20 at 7:00 p.m.