The first thing we see in Tikoy Aguiluz's Boatman is the gleaming revealed blade of a balisong (a switchblade knife made in the province of Batangas). A group of prepubescent boys line up ...
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The first thing we see in Tikoy Aguiluz's Boatman is the gleaming revealed blade of a balisong (a switchblade knife made in the province of Batangas). A group of prepubescent boys line up to an old man carrying the blade and a stack of leaves. The bravest one presents himself as the first boy to be circumcized. Tikoy Aguiluz allows us to see the details of the ceremonial passage to manhood: the old man pulls the foreskin from the penis and attaches it to the implement before slicing it off; the kid then spits the chewed leaves before jumping into the river. Aguiluz cuts to the same river, and appearing from the river is Felipe (Ronnie Lazaro), presumably the brave kid many years later now grown into an ambitious boatman who delivers tourists from town to the waterfalls of Pagsanjan.Written by
The most famous landmark "bomba" of artistic merit
In Japan, the euphemistic term for the sex cinema is "pink films" (pinku-eiga) or "roman poruno" (romance pornography). In 1980s, the Philippines produced a somewhat similar sex genre, called "bomba" or bold films, which used female nudity or sex scenes as their selling points. This period coincided with the continuation of martial law under the then President Marcos. Along with slapstick comedies, they served as escapist distractions from the socio-political unrest and repression. The most famous landmark bomba of artistic merit was made 16 years ago. It was Tikoy Aguiluz' Boatman (1984), about the tragedy of a couple who did live sex shows but the film actually highlighted the problems of poverty, repression, crime and violence in the final years of the corrupt Marcos regime. (Published in the Singapore International Film Festival 2000 Catalogue.)
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