Lamberto V. Avellana - Badjao AKA Badjao, the Sea Gypsies (1957)

In the 1950s, the Philippines had one of the biggest film industries in the world - right behind Hollywood and Bollywood. This is a rare chance to see one of the classic films from that period with english subtitles. A prestige production by Malay Film Productions, a subcompany of Shaw Brothers, it was directed by Philippine National Artist Lamberto Avellana and stars some of the biggest stars of the period, including Tony Santos and Rosa Rosal.

This film is a good example of how well-made the Philippine films from that period were and how they tackled very relevant questions of national identity and racial prejudice in highly entertaining films. It is next to impossible to find a film like that if you do not happen to live in Southeast Asia. In fact, even if you are there, you will still have a hard time getting it, which is a shame, because these films should be part of the treasured heritage of World Cinema.

An classic film by film studio LVN, largely because of shining performances by Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos. It won the award for best direction (Lamberto V. Avellana, National Artist for Theater and Film in 1976), best story (Rolf Bayer), best editing (Gregorio Carballo), and best cinematography (Mike Accion) at the 1957 Southeast Asia Film Festival held in Tokyo.
A story about the Badjaos and the Tausogs, rival tribes for centuries. The Badjaos, a group of sea gypsies, ply the sea for food and for pearls.
Hassan (Tony Santos), a son of the Badjao chief falls in love and marries Bala Amai (Rosa Rosal) who is a niece of Datu Tahil (Jose de Cordova), head of the land-dwelling  Tausogs. At the urging of Bala Amai, Hassan decides to leave his tribe and join the Tausogs.
Eventually, Datu Tahil learns of Hassan’s expertise in finding rare pearls in the sea, thus exploiting him for his own selfish interests. Hassan and Bala Amai resist him, feeling that their self-respect have been trampled on. They decide to go back to the Badjaos and lead a more humble, but nevertheless peaceful life. the Badjaos accept them with all their hearts.

File Size (in bytes) ............................: 1.37 GB
Runtime ............................................: 01:35:00

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