By Jinji Sayson
It is always a delight when reviewing a documentary since to me they are my personal favorite genre of films; documentaries are not only films with information but also they represent a genuine experience for the viewer to delve into a new world or to have a look at things from a different perspective, director “Jinji Sayson” did exactly that with her work as she was able to brilliantly introduce “Kulintang” to us in a very subtle and well crafted manner.
The work at hand gives a real look at one of the hidden traditions of the Philippines in a very true and authentic manner as it is told by the ones involved in keeping the tradition alive; they are the musicians who were able to bring to life an amazing mix that is more than just music or instruments being played; it is a way of life. The approach that “Sayson” followed reflects her passion and love for the subject as she was able to transport the viewers on a journey that will leave them wanting to know more about “Kulintang”.
Technically, the way that writer/director “Jinji Sayson” worked on this production shows real maturity in her understanding of what it takes to deliver a message in an unsophisticated yet charming manner ( a matter that even the most professional of film makers might find hard to do); her choice of interviews intertwined with the editing of the footage and the way that each and every frame symbolized a poetic inspiration made the experience all the more enjoyable. As for the music, well its all about that beautiful and precious musical tradition that enters the soul and leaves its mark.
In the end, this documentary is a real reflection of an almost forgotten tradition that deserves to be praised and should be taking its rightful place in the world of music. A standing ovation is due to “Jinji Sayson” for her dedication and passion in preserving what she calls “an important cultural touchstone” it is through the eyes and lens of such talented people that we can guarantee the continuation and preservation of any heritage. We will be definitely on the look out for what “Sayson” has in stored for us in the future for she is surely going to leave her mark as both a successful writer and a brilliant film maker.
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Jinji is a Cebuana Filipina-American filmmaker based in the Bay Area, California. Her many passions include playing piano and percussion, as well as performing Kulintang music, writing essays, poetry, cultural critiques and activism.