What to watch during Filipino-American History Month
October marks the Filipino-American History Month (FAHM) in the U.S. and one of the ways to celebrate the impact and contribution of Filipinos in shaping America as a nation is by watching movies!
Life Is What You Make It (2017)
Dir: Jhett Tolentino
This short documentary tells the story of Tony and Grammy award-winning Filipino theatre producer Jhett Tolentino. In the docu, he retraces his migration from Iloilo into the United States and his entry into theatre production in New York.
“Life Is What You Make It” is part of the Shorts Bundle exclusive on Cinema ‘76 @ Home and TBA Play for cinephiles abroad. Catch the complete bundle for Php 250/USD7.99 or in a two-film bundle for Php 150/USD4.99.
Lingua Franca (2019)
Dir: Isabel Sandoval
The third narrative feature of writer-director-actress Isabel Sandoval, “Lingua Franca” tells the story of Olivia, an undocumented trans Filipina immigrant working as a caregiver to Olga, a Russian-Jewish grandmother living in Brooklyn, New York. She fell in love with a slaughterhouse worker, who was not aware she is transgender. The film has an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus: “Lingua Franca brings warmth and humanity to its social issue-driven plot with sensitive performances and writer-director Isabel Sandoval’s gently empathetic touch”. Sandoval won Best Actress for her role in the film at the 18th Pacific Meridian International Film Festival in Russia last year.
“Lingua Franca” is streaming on Netflix in U.S. territories.
Heneral Luna (2015) and Goyo: The Boy General (2018)
Dir: Jerrold Tarog
Contemporary stories of contemporary Filipino Americans may be the spotlight during FAHM. But if you are looking to deepen your knowledge on the history of the Philippines and America, the outstanding masterpiece “Heneral Luna” and its equally powerful sequel “Goyo: The Boy General”, set during the conflict between Filipino and American forces, are definitely worth watching.
The movies are now streaming on Netflix worldwide.
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