Father Balweg, Rebel Priest
This 68-minute documentary features a rebel group in the Philippines that fought the dictator Ferdinand Marcos for years. It begins with breathtaking exploratory scenes of mountains, rivers, and villages. No soundtrack is heard, only native chants, songs, flutes, voices and eventually, silence. Viewers then see Father Balweg enlightening the peasants about the centuries-old land and class grievances of the people of the Cordillera mountain region, and ispiring them to advocate reform. Father Conrado Balweg joins the rebel group in 1979. One year later, Father Balweg was defrocked for taking up arms against Marcos. This rebel immage, immesely dramatized by Philippine TV, radio, and newspapers at the time, segues to show a very human Balweg: priest, husband, and loving father of two children.
After the dictator was deposed and Corazon Aquino was elected president, she sent government peace emissary (her brother-in-law) to talk to the rebels about their demands. This meeting comprises the second half of the film. Issues were discussed in an atmosphere of goodwill and respect.
This documentary was the first significant non-feature film to come out after the Aquino government took over from the Marcos regime.
- Philip Salvador ... Father Conrado Balweg
- Rio Locsin
- Tetchie Agbayani
- Pinky Amador
- Conrado Balweg ... Himself
- Johnny Delgado
- Director: Amable Aguiluz and Butch Perez
- Screenplay: Amado Lacuesta
- Executive Producer: Vic del Rosario Jr.
- Original Music: Willy Cruz
- Cinematography: Amable Aguiluz and Boy Yñiguez
- Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr. and Myrna Medina-Bhunjun
- Sound Engineer: Rolly Ruta
- Tobias, Mel. One hundred acclaimed Tagalog movies. Canada: Peanut Butter Publishing, 1998.
- "Father Balweg at NY Times Movies" http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/227456/Father-Balweg-Rebel-Priest/overview (accessed on 28 Oct 2007)
- "Full Cast of Father Balweg at imdb.com" http://imdb.com/title/tt0185905/fullcredits#cast (accessed on 28 Oct 2007)