Harana

Harana
Directed by Benito Bautista, Created and Written by Florante Aguilar, 2012, Philippines/USA, 1:46, English/Filipin
o with English Subtitles

 

Creator and writer Florante Aguilar, a classically trained guitarist, has spent a lifetime investigating a quickly disappearing art form in the Philippines. Harana, or 'the serenade,' paradoxically shares widespread cultural notoriety as well as virtual nonexistence as a modern practice. As a colonial ritual that often took the place of dating, harana flourished in popular culture until the end of colonial occupation. A spellbinding combination of Spanish influenced habanera rhythms and Bing Crosby-style crooning, harana is an eclectic folk music form that reflects the shared history of the Philippines. Prompted by his father's death, Florante sets off to locate the final three surviving harana practitioners from various walks of life and brings them together to recreate the magic of a bygone era. Part cultural memory project and part personal exploration of unique colonial culture, Harana offers a fleeting glimpse into the struggle for traditional art to maintain relevance in modern society.

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