National Film Festival: Kanana Kanu

By | July 3, 2012
Last Sunday, me and Ronnie watched Kanana Kanu, one of the featured films in the National Film Festival, Sineng Pambansa. “The Film Development Council of the Philippines holds the 1st Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival in Davao City from June 29 to July 3, featuring the finalists of it’s first National Film Competition.” (to read the full article, click here). 

It was my first time to watch an Indie film in a cinema house. Though I didn’t put my expectations too high, I still have this little notion that Independent films are good and world class. Well that was because of the many Philippine Indie films that are collecting awards from highly acclaimed giving bodies in the world. But for this particular film- is begging for improvement.
Fanna, the warrior

Manila; “Kanana Kanu,” – Jocelyn Banasan-Kapuno, Kalinga.

Kanana Kanu depicts two parallel stories which tells John’s experience and his cultural travelogue. The other story revolves around the oral narratives of the I-Kalingas. This particular mythology embodies the true essence of the I-Kalingas’ core cultural values.

John a young man, half- American and half- Kalinga travels for a vacation in his mother’s birthplace at the village named Magobya. Unknowingly, he immerses himself in the culture of his mom’s place- living in a simple, practical and natural lifestyle. Through his village experiences he learns how to do things he never actualize in the U.S.

When the story is chanted by bard singers new experience is open to John as though he journeys to another dimension of time and space. John see vividly the story unfolds when the ever outstanding beauty of Lagunnawa meet the heroic warrior named Fanna. His immersion and cultural re-rooting helps him to know more about himself and his true cultural identity.


The film was tolerable. I appreciate how the actors really tried in portraying their roles but there were just some scenes that made me think otherwise. When Lagunnawa danced during their wedding, she had this expression on her face that she feels awkward in what she’s doing and that she’s not comfortable in all of it. You know that expression right? I’ve experienced that kind of feeling so I know when I see one and that was what I saw in her at that particular scene. That was just one scene among others that seemed to be half-baked. For a serious film, they should have considered the choice for their effects and props for it looked like a comedy film for the viewers like us.

However, let’s give it to the film for successfully conveying the culture of the I-Kalingas. Though it’s confusing how they present the past and the present scenes, it was still understandable and relatable. And though being a warrior could mean killing some people, it’s still amazes me how easy they can solve a crisis between tribes by just merely talking and exchanging tokens as a sign for their agreement.

I am not a film/movie expert or what have you. I just shared what I have observed and experienced and that was it.

4 thoughts on “National Film Festival: Kanana Kanu

  1. papaleng

    A very nice theme or folm plot, but I guess, the actors overdid their part, kaya gannon ang acting nila.

  2. Jessica Cassidy

    I never watch any film festival yet only drama/action movie. I hope that the producer will find ways to improve their production 🙂


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