U.S. War in Philippines Led to Vietnam, Iraq, Says New Film

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MANILA — A new feature film by renowned American independent filmmaker John Sayles brings back the “forgotten” Philippine-American War at the turn of the 20th century, depicting it as the seed of the disastrous U.S. imperialist ventures in Vietnam and Iraq.

Filmed entirely in the Philippines with a cast and crew of Americans and Filipinos, the first composite print of “Amigo” was shown by Sayles on August 25 at the Rockwell Power Plant cinema to a select audience that included National Artist for Literature and film critic-historian Bienvenido Lumbera and Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr. of Maribojoc, Bohol, where the movie was shot.

Fresh from overnight post-production work but lacking subtitles to guide an international audience through the movie’s polyglot dialogue in English, Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese and Latin, the version shown was more or less complete, according to Sayles and producer Maggie Renzi. The movie will have its world premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada and at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain. It will be commercially released in the Philippines next year.