|Born||Catalino Ortiz Brocka
April 3, 1939
San Jose, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
|Died||May 21, 1991
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Catalino Ortiz Brocka (April 3, 1939 – May 21, 1991) is known as one of the greatest film directors of the Philippines. Brocka was openly gay and many of his films incorporated LGBT themes into their often dramatic storylines.
Brocka was born in San Jose, Nueva Ecija. He directed his first film, Wanted: Perfect Mother, based on The Sound of Music and a local comic serial, in 1970. It won an award for best screenplay at the 1970 Manila Film Festival. Later that year he also won the Citizen’s Council for Mass Media's best-director award for the film Santiago!.
In 1974, Brocka directed Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (Weighed But Found Wanting), which told the story of a teenager growing up in a small town amid its petty and gross injustices. It was a box-office hit, and earned Brocka another best-director award, this time from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS).
The following year he directed Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (The Claws of Light), which is considered by many critics to be the greatest Philippine film ever made - including British film critic and historian Derek Malcolm . The film tells the allegorical tale of a young provincial named Julio Madiaga who goes to Manila looking for his lost love, Ligaya Paraiso. The episodic plot has him careering from one adventure to another until he finally finds Ligaya. Much of the film's greatness can be traced to the excellent cinematography by Mike de Leon, who would become a great Filipino filmmaker himself. The film won the FAMAS awards for best picture, best director, best actor, and best supporting actor in 1976.
Insiang (1978) was the first Philippine film ever shown at the Cannes Film Festival. It is considered to be one of Brocka's best films — some say his masterpiece. The film centers on a young woman named Insiang who lives in the infamous Manila slum area, Tondo. It is a Shakespearean tragedy that deals with Insiang's rape by her mother's lover, and her subsequent revenge.
The film Jaguar (1979) was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival. It won best picture and best director at the 1980 FAMAS Awards. It also won five Gawad Urian Awards, including best picture and best direction.
In 1981, Brocka was back at Cannes' Director's Fortnight with his third entry, Bona, a film about obsession.
In 1983, Brocka created the organization Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), which he led for two years. His stand was that artists were first and foremost citizens and, as such, must address the issues confronting the country. His group became active in anti-government rallies after the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr., eventually becoming one of the progressive organizations representing artists and cultural workers in the country.
The following year, Bayan Ko (This Is My Country) was deemed subversive by the government of Ferdinand Marcos, and underwent a legal battle to be shown in its uncut form. At the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, however, it was nominated for the Palme d'Or. It garnered four honors at the 1986 Gawad Urian Awards, including best picture.
Brocka directed over forty films. Some of his other notable works are Macho Dancer (1988), which had to be secretly smuggled out of the country to avoid government censorship, Fight for Us (1989), and Gumapang Ka sa Lusak (1990).
For his fight against the Marcos regime, Brocka, in 1986 was appointed by President Corazon Aquino to the 1986 Constitutional Commission to draft a new constitution for the country. During his tenure in the commission, he eventually resigned.
- "Lino Brocka". cineplex.com.
- Lino Brocka at the Internet Movie Database
- An extensive biography from a Lino Brocka fan site
- Lino Brocka: Legendary Filmmaker, First LDS Convert in the Philippines (About Brocka's conversion to Mormonism)
- Mission Impossible 1: Filmmaking in the Philippines 1896-1986 (historical overview)
- Guardian Unlimited (UK) feature on Derek Malcolm's Century of Films, which includes Brocka's "Manila: In The Claws of Darkness"
- Lino Brocka : the artist and his times, ed. by Mario A. Hernando, Manila : Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1993.
- Who are we to judge the insane? - "Tinimbang ka ngunit Kulang"
- "Director Lino Brocka: Stronger than Life"
- Ricky Lee - Official Website