The Middle Mystery of Kristo Negro

Khavn

IFFR 2009

  • 70'
  • Philippines
  • 2009
Not everyone can cope with it, but the film opens with what should be an age-old ritual. Several men slaughter and skin an animal in the open field. It's a young water buffalo that continues to breathe when it hardly has any skin left. The landscape has a biblical appeal and the people are dressed in timeless garb. Less timeless are the Roman legionaries who appear and disappear. A Christ-like figure is left on his own in the empty landscape and starts dragging the carcass of the water buffalo as if it were his cross. He seems to carry all his sins through a hellish landscape that looks as if it were designed in a feverish dream.
Without the Catholic Church, there probably wouldn't be any such thing as a cult film. The old, theatrical and mystical rituals of the church are a never-ending source of inspiration for film makers who are sensitive to a similarly hysterical rapture or who want to mock the conservative institution.
Although you could expect it from an outspokenly underground film maker like Khavn, in this case one cannot really talk about direct mockery of religion. Is it's more that he takes the element of self chastising that is part of certain rituals (such as the acted Way of the Cross) one step further and makes the ritual more real than was maybe intended.
The Hungry Ghosts programme also includes the director's Three Days of Darkness. (GjZ)




Director
Khavn
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
Philippines
Production Year
2009
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Length
70'
Medium
DV cam NTSC
Original title
Day tingnga ti misteryo ti Kristo Negro
Language
Tagalog
Producer
Khavn
Production Company
Filmless Films
Sales
Filmless Films
Screenplay
Khavn de la Cruz
Cinematography
Albert Banzon
Editor
Lawrence S. Ang
Production Design
Jet Leyco, Kristine Kintana, Ma. Krissna Isabelle Cruz, Michelle Ann Frazier, Gladys Melgarejo
Sound Design
Lawrence S. Ang
Music
Tomasa Bacud, Charlita Cagat, Emy Buduan
Cast
Macoy Duran, Mary Tamayo