Ang Anak ni Brocka is a 2005 Cinema One Originals written and directed by Sigfreid Barros Sanchez. It is a mockumentary about “what if the late Filipino film director, Lino Brocka, had a son?”
The film starts with a group of TV reporters brainstorming for their next documentary project. One of them pitched about a young man named Angelino who was seen in Nueva Ecija asking around and claiming that he is the son of Lino Brocka.
Brocka, who died in 1991, was not only a famous film director, but was also an activist, a former theater artist, and a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1986 who drafted the current Philippine Constitution. He was known to be gay, so how could it be possible that he sired a child?
And yet the team decided to pursue this topic and started interviewing people. The film consists of raw interviews from known personalities in the film and theater industry, a few family members and close friends, neighbors, and even the public.
The group followed many leads just to find Angelino. It led them to different places — from Nueva Ecija where Brocka grew up, to the squatter’s areas in Metro Manila where he usually filmed his notable movies — trying to find the answer.
Meanwhile, the other network became suspicious of the groups’ activity. So when they learned about the group’s documentary, they immediately created a documentary of the same topic. This depicted the ratings game happening between two TV rival networks, a competition still prevalent today.
There were parts in the movie that have subtitles while others don’t. One word was even subtitled or translated wrong; it should be “pique” as in “pique my curiosity” rather than “peak”.
There was also that inconsistent film quality. Some were done with good lighting, while other parts were of low quality. Am I getting the feel that the filmmaker used different cameras to show that the whole thing was a collection of interviews that happened in different settings?
The guitar music background also set the tone for the documentary feel. Brocka as an activist would really go for this type of music.
Another intriguing topic of this mockumentary was the part where they bleeped out the name of the Hollywood actor allegedly linked to Brocka. Also, I like the part where they did not show Angelino’s face at all.
The production team should have hired much lesser known actors to make the mockumentary feel more real. When I saw the likes of Nonie Buencamino, Gina Alajar, Epi Quizon, and a host of other known actors playing other characters, I felt that the power of the mockumentary lessened. Thus, I’m giving this 3 out of 5 stars.