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Philippine Cinema

Thursday, November 15, 1984
7:15 p.m. As We Were (Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?)
Eddie Romero (Philippines,1976)

(The title translates as "This Is the Way We Were Then, How Are You Now?") Eddie Romero has worked on over 70 films as director, producer and/or screenwriter; he has spent time in Europe (studying with Roberto Rossellini) and Hollywood, where, among other projects, he directed films for Roger Corman's New World Pictures (whose output included a number of pictures partially shot in the Philippines). In As We Were, Romero marshalls a sprawling plot and a vast range of characters into an entertaining, ramshackle epic. Elliott Stein writes in Film Comment: "[The film] begins shortly before the end of the last century. A nation is being formed, though few are yet aware of it. Kulas, a naive peasant adolescent (Christopher de Leon), has just buried his mother. He goes home to cook supper and manages to burn the house down. The homeless orphan leaves his village, and the rest of the film is the picaresque tale of his stroll through the Philippine revolution, a witness to the end of Spanish colonial rule and the onset of the American occupation of the Islands. In this truly Filipino film, dialogue is in Spanish, English, Cantonese, Tagalog and another Filipino language.... Christopher de Leon became a major star after this film; it is easy to see why."

• Directed by Eddie Romero. With Christopher de Leon, Gloria Diaz, Tsing Tong-Tsai, Eddie Garcia. (1976, 125 mins, In Tagalog and other languages with English titles, 35mm, Color, Print from British Film Institute's National Film Archive with permission of Pierre Rissient)