Los Ultimos de Filipinas (The Last of the Philippines) (1945)

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Los Ultimos de Filipinas (The Last of the Philippines) (1945) is a film based on a true story about a holdout Spanish army unit fighting Filipino revolutionaries. The unit serves as a symbol for the last days of the Spanish empire in the Philippines. During the time of the Spanish-American War, the commandante of a Spanish detachment in Balar, Philippines realizes that the native people of his district are planning an insurrection. He orders his troops to entrench in the village church. During their stay, which is prolonged for nearly a year, there are several incidents which show the tenacity and heroism of the Spanish.


Director/Writer

Antonio Roman (b. Nov. 9, 1911 - d. June 16, 1989) Ourense, Spain.

  • During the 1940s, Antonio Román was Spain's most celebrated filmmaker and went on to become one of the managers of the Cooperativa Cinematográfica Castilla. Originally planning to be a pharmacist, he instead turned to film criticism, writing for some of Spain's most distinguished journals. By 1934, he had also begun directing, starting with a few short documentaries. His first full length film, 1941's Escuadrilla (Squadron), was made in collaboration with Sáenz De Heredia. Other features directed by Román include 1944's "Lola Montes" and 1947's "La Fuentovejuna". Román went on writing reviews and directing films throughout the '60s and into the '70s, although his output slowed. In 1970, he was fired from the set of Ringo Del Nebraska, after having filmed less than 10%, because the producer did not like his slow and meticulous pace. He was replaced by Mario Bava, his friend and protégé. Out of respect for Román, Bava refused to accept credit on the film.

Legacy

In the 1990s the 1945 film experienced a surge of popularity in Spain, with frequent rescreenings put on by Instituto Cervantes and other revival festivals. In American universities the film has been studied by American cultural scholar Marsha Kinder as part of the Falangist movement's drive to reinvigorate Spanish attitudes especially after the disastrous Civil War and World War II.

Filipino scholar Rolando B. Tolentino in his book National/Transnational Subject Formation and Media In and On the Philippines (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2001) explained its recurring popularity in Spain as being due to "its conflation of imperialist desire and colonialist nostalgia." While the mise en scene takes place in 1898 with the establishment of the first Asian republic in 1898, what Spanish audiences see is the mythologization of the imperial country's last stand in the Pacific. The film is read by the Spanish public as the "valorization of the heroism of its colonial past," creating a nostalgic and sentimental framework for viewing their past. While the movie effectively dramatizes the heroic resistance of the last Spanish soldiers in the country, the Filipinos are represented in massed battle scenes as anonymous drones falling in the line of fire. Marsha Kinder writes that the lonely Filipino character of note is a woman, effectively feminizing the image of the Philippines, as an object that should be saved from violence and rape. By characterizing the last stand not as defeat but as bravery, the film encourages its modern viewers, especially Spaniards, to rediscover its "masculine past."

Writer

  • Enrique Alfonso Barcones (book)
  • Enrique Llovet (book)
  • Pedro de Juan (screenplay)
  • Rafael Sanchez Campoy (book)

Cinematography

  • Heinrich Gartner

Film Editor

  • Bienvenida Sanz

Music

  • Manuel Parada

Cast Members

  • Armando Calvo, as Teniente Martin Cerezo
  • Jose Nieto, as Captain Enrique de las Morenas
  • Guillermo Marin, as Doctor Rogelio Vigil
  • Manolo Moran, as Pedro Vila
  • Juan Calvo, as Cabo Olivares
  • Fernando Rey, as Juan Chamizo
  • Manuel Kayser, as Fay Candido
  • Carlos Munoz, as Santamaria
  • Jose Miguel Rupert, as Moises
  • Pablo Alvarez Rubio, as Herrero, el desertor
  • Nani Fernandez, as Tala
  • Emilio Ruiz de Cordoba, as El Correo
  • Cesar Guzman, as Jesus Garcia Quijano
  • Alfonso de Horna, as Marquiado
  • Manuel Arbo, as Gomez Ortiz
  • Conrado San Martin, as Vicente Pedrosa
  • Adriano Dominguez, as Pineda
  • Tony Leblanc

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Reference

(accessed on Sept. 4, 2007)

External Links

Citation

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