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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Turumba (1984) - Movie


By JANET MASLIN
Published: April 12, 1984
''TURUMBA,'' the second feature by the Philippine film maker Kidlat Tahimik, unfolds in a gradual and deceptively deadpan style. It takes place in a small village, where the festival of the title is an occasion for every family to make papier- mache figurines.

Beginning by showing the various customs that surround the festival, it follows the process by which one family starts a manufacturing operation, eventually producing 25,000 toy dachshunds for the 1972 Munich Olympics.

''Turumba,'' which opened yesterday at the Film Forum, is acted in a slightly stiff style, since it is just scripted enough to lack spontaneity. That does not mean it is without wit, however. Mr. Tahimik's screenplay interjects all sorts of incongruously Western locutions, like ''export order,'' into the speech of the villagers, and has them marvel over each new dividend that their prosperity brings - a radio that plays rock songs in the jungle, for instance, or an electric fan. When a truck arrives to cart the 25,000 toy dogs away, the people gather around it for a farewell. Or they may, as one local cynic suggests, be thanking the truck for exorcising the devil.

The plainness of ''Turumba'' gives it an insinuating, almost offhanded humor that by no means undermines the seriousness of the villagers' plight. By the end of the film, they have become ever more successfully westernized, with the film's two main characters about to embark for their first trip to Europe. Not exactly by coincidence, there is a typhoon on the horizon.

A Lot of Dachshunds

TURUMBA, directed and written by Kidlat Tahimik (in Tagalog with English subtitles); distributed by Flower Films. At the Film Forum, 57 Watts Street. Running time: 95 minutes. This film has no rating.

WITH: Herman Abiad, Katrin Luise

New York Times
SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9902E5D9143AF931A25757C0A962948260
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