Sog.: Mario O’Hara. Scen.: Mario O’Hara, Lamberto Antonio. F.: Conrado Baltazar. M.: Augusto Salvado. Mus.: Max Jocson. Int.: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal, Rez Cortez, Marlon Ramirez. Prod.: Miguel de Leon Severino · DCP. Col.
Insiang is, first and foremost, a character analysis: a young woman raised in a miserable neighborhood. I need this character to recreate the ‘violence’ stemming from urban overpopulation, to show the annihilation of a human being, the loss of human dignity caused by the physical and social environment and to stress the need of changes these life conditions […]. My characters always react through fighting. I have conceived Insiang like an immoral story: two women share the same man, the daughter avenges herself and, in the end, she reveals herself: she had conspired to kill her mother’s lover without having never loved him, so that the murder was, in fact, unnecessary. Censorship refused this ending.
In 1977 I was in Sydney for the film festival. Before going home, I zigzagged my way back through Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong-Kong, Manila and Seoul, to discover a new filmmaker and an unknown film: Insiang by Lino Brocka. When Insiang was released on December 17, 1976, it did not do well, and led to the collapse of CineManila, the company founded by Brocka in 1974 after the extraordinary success of Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang. The shooting of Insiang began on December 1 and lasted 11 days. Knowing these dates is important as they reveal the extreme urgency he felt, and his unique, authentic desire to make this film. Insiang also presents an unusual, brilliant mise-en-scène which shows the characters being torn apart by passion, by a sort of ardent energy.
I am very pleased that, two years after Manila in the Claws of Light, we are able to see another restoration of a Brocka film. I still remember the excitement, along rue Antibes, surrounding the screening of Insiang at the Quinzaine de Réalisateurs, in 1978. That was a very fulfilling and emotional experience, and I’m sure the same will be true today.