Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.88 (17 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Auraeus Solito

Writers: Kanakan-Balintagos and Henry Burgos

Cast: Alessandra de Rossi, Dax Alejandro, Clifford Banagale

Synopsis: Punay was born with wounds in her feet so that she cannot step on the earth. Her brother, Angkarang, carries her through a hammock, as he searches the changing landscape of Palawan in hoping to find a healer who can cure Punay. Different people help him carry his sister along the way- a woman looking for her husband, a fisherman who lost his boat and a young man who is searching for himself- and each one meets their fate.

*

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0        Adrian Mendizabal (Auditoire)

“It (places) itself as one of the most important local films about tribal culture. What permeates within the juxtapositions of images and associational elements in the film is this pervading concept of tribal space and time.” (Read full review)

5.0        J.I.E. Teodoro (GMA News)

“It made me homesick for Palawan, my home for three years in my not so distant, younger, and more adventurous days. This kind of emotional effect can only be achieved by artists who can make their audience long for something unattainable.” (Read full review)

5.0        Carl Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“What I deeply love about this film is that the director is in control of his artistry and never lets it go wander about.  It is artsy but then you will never get lost in it, unlike some of the art films going around wherein you need the director or the filmmaker to explain what happened in the film for you to fully grasp what it was trying to tell.” (Read full review)

4.5        Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“Nothing about Busong is artificial, the film going as far as to abandon the typical narrative mold to arrive at something closer to the heart of the culture that it seeks to portray and preserve. And though the result can be a little ponderous and frustrating, it’s more than worth it just to get a glimpse of the film’s delicate truth.” (Read full review)

4.5        Don Jaucian (Pelikula Tumblr)

“Drenched in melancholy and spiritual recollection, Busong’s core isn’t the simple intervention of spells and magic but the strong hold of these little folktales to our communal struggle. Because most of the time, it is through myth and legend that we understand our history, where figures are carved from exaggerated imaginings and values are sifted through urban legends.” (Read full review)

4.0        Rolando Tolentino (Pinoy Weekly)

“Sa Busong, ang paghahabilin ng katutubo at kanyang pamayanan ay may pinakasinematikong stilo sa hanay ng mga kontemporaryong pelikula ng katutubo.” (Read full review)

4.0        Manuel Pangaruy (IndioCine)

“Ang pagsulpot ng paruparo mula sa sagot ng babae ay isang pagpapatunay na hindi lahat ng busong ay pagpapariwara. Meron din itong mabuti at mapagpalayang epekto sa tao, isang deconstruction ng alam natin tungkol sa salitang karma.” (Read full review)

4.0        Jonnah D. (Sisyphean Dreams)

“The film itself is undoubtedly visually beautiful. The cinematography of the entire film is stunning. Solito shows off his cultural heritage through this film and the stories that he has managed to incorporate in it.” (Read full review)

3.5        Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“Shot and projected in high definition video, Busong runs the risk of being too beautiful, too defined, and too welcoming. A film that grieves for a dying tradition and cautions of the masked repercussions of forced modernization is deserving of a tinge of grit, a hint of ugliness, and a possible serving of anger.” (Read full review)

3.5        Abby Mendoza (PEP)

Busong succeeds in its portrayal of animism. Moreover, what is poignant about Solito’s film is that in the indigenous Palaweños’ primeval world, nature is the god that has power over humans. That is what Busong conveys to the modern audience who may think otherwise.” (Read full review)

3.5        Mental Clutter

“While I enjoy poetry in film, Busong gives too much poetry without commentary, or without a proportionate casual dialogue. The lack of clear storytelling and more casual dialogues ‘sours’ up the great cinematography and production design.” (Read full review)

3.5        Ariane Astorga (Candid Headlines)

“All in all, I think the movie could have been tied a little bit tighter but the stories offer a unique perspective to a place that is quickly becoming too commercial nowadays. In Busong, you don’t see Palawan the tourist destination, you see Palawan, a land rich in people and culture.” (Read full review)

2.5        Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“A treasure trove for anthropologists, it offers superb visuals and the pristine beauty of Palawan perfectly captured by cinematographer Louie Quirino for the big screen. But the narrative moves so slowly and is generally cumbersome. How we wish some scenes were better structured so they won’t drag and the pacing will be quicker.” (Read full review)

2.5        Fred Hawson (Fred Said: Movies)

“The beautifully-composed images and scenes and their non-linear order of presentation may be cryptic… However the ultimate message of the movie is crystal clear.” (Read full review)

Capsules:

4.5        Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Hypnotic! With this film, director Auraeus Solito establishes himself as one of the most aesthetically assured Pinoy filmmakers working today.”

4.0        Lyndon Maburaot (Cinephiles)

“Weak first half, I think. Majestic imagery.”

2.5        Eduardo Dayao (Piling Piling Pelikula)

“Wasn’t moved as much as I expected by Busong. A lot of my (filmmaker) friends who saw it with me either gushed about it or were OK with it. I liked the second half more than the first half. But the Apichatpong derivatives rubbed me a little raw – – -specially the hospital scene. Maybe it’s the ethnography that makes it a little emotionally forbidding. Loved the butterflies coming out of the wound,though. And Aureus’ total disregard for a more accessible film language is admirable, to say the least. But kudos still.”

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