Movie Reviews: Tribu

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movies

Tribu September 4, 2007

Tribu (2007)
Rating: star star star star star
Cast: Tondo Gangstas
Director: Jim Libiran
Genre: Urban Violence / Rap

Urban Squalor
Tribu garnered most of CineMalaya's major awards including best film and best actor. Think Brazil's City of God meets Eminem's 8 Mile - vicious gang war in Tondo, a two-fisted inner city with a long history of violence and a reputation for grit, and street-rap in the backdrop of urban squalor. Daily grind in Tondo was portrayed with realism and 'show it like it is' candor. Tribu cut through the chase and depicted urban violence and drama with no apology...neither did it succumb to the familiar formulaic happy ending that has plagued some potontially good films. It was honest that way.

The Cast
The actors are the gang members, and the movie cast are the denizens of Tondo themselves. Acting was superb, given that they're not professional actors and only had a brief stint in an acting workshop.

As a sidenote, the gangsta actors were overtaken by the turn of events following Tribu's success. From neighborhood tough guys, they'd been catapulted to instant celebrities, doing back-to-back performances in various clubs and events. I've bumped into them at the CCP, Purple Haze and at the UP Film Center. I'm really happy they found a ticket out of poverty and violence.

Ending Thoughts
This is one good film-making by Jim Libiran. It is already critically acclaimed, and I hope this movie makes it in the box office as well. It's not just about making money. This type of pioneering film-making can only spearhead a trend in reshaping the film industry if it becomes a commercial success. The way it is, it's a niche market and the major studios won't necessarily change their way of doing things unless the 'bottom-line' is there. Wouldn't it be nice and dandy if hard-hitting quality films become the mainstream?

The last time I watched a CineMalaya offering was 2 years ago. I was full of hope then that I would see a promising future for Philippine film-making - void of the rut that has stunted the industry in the last 2 decades. I watched 4 films, and walked out 4 times. I was disappointed. Korea, a virtual unknown in the film making industry took the world by storm within a decade. In fairness however, the approach of the Indie films (then) was in the right direction, adapting the new ways progressive movies are done overseas....promising, but not yet a reality...liken it to baby steps.

With CineMalaya's current offering for 2007, 5 of which I saw (Tribu, Kadin, Gulong, Endo and Sinungaling na Buwan), the progress done within the last 2 years is nothing less than remarkable. The entire production process is tighter, more seamless and the approach, more deliberate. If I can harp on anything, it's still the poor acting and uneveness of the treatment (I'm not talking about Tribu here). Altogether, I am optimistic that give a few more years, at the exponential rate these films are improving, our film industry is on its way to making an Asian presence.

--- TheLoneRider

Comments?

Reader Comments:

Sylvia ZibuschkaSylvia Zibuschka
(Apr 24, 2008) Saw the movie last year and had the chance to talk to the director and some of the main characters. A few days after the screening one of the actors showed us the sites in Tondo and introduced us to the neighbourhood... A new universe was opened to us who spend most of their times in Makati.

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