Adolfo Alix Jr, a young Filipino director, re-examines his country’s history in Death March, which revisits a forgotten World War II tragedy. The 34 year-old filmmaker explains how his project came about.
Tell us how your film came about ?
When I was young, my grandfather told me stories about the Second World War and the Bataan Death March. It was very interesting and heartbreaking to hear about the struggles of the soldiers in order to survive the ordeal. It stuck with me and after dealing with madness and isolation in my previous films: Liberation et Kalayaan, it was fitting to close the trilogy with Death March, since it offers a perspective on the psychological effects of such an event on those involved. What is inside the minds of these soldiers.
What type of cinema has influenced you ?
I’ve been influenced by a lot of filmmakers whose works set out to challenge the human condition. I admire the simplicity of De Sica and Ozu, the sense of realism of the Dardennes, the audacity of Von Trier’s themes and the stirring imagery of Tarkovsky. For me, cinema should be as free as the human spirit.
An Autumn Afternoon by Yasujirō Ozu
Can you tell us about your next project ?
I am working on two right now. One is called PORNO which deals with the intersecting lives of individuals linked by something we discovered – small cameras are now illegally placed in small motels in the Philippines. The other is about the small tribe of the Tasadays, a pre‐historic tribe discovered in the Philippines during the Marcos era.
SCREENING Sunday 19 May / Debussy Theatre / 2.00 p.m.