Harana (2012) – MIFF Film Review


Philipines/USA 104 mins

There used to be a tradition called harana, which was when a Filipino man wanted to woo a woman; he would sing beneath her window. The songs were romantic and poetic and downright beautiful, and he would sing until the woman’s parents let him in to court her in person. Over the years, this tradition has faded. Florante Aguilar, a classical guitarist who now lives in the states, travels across the country seeking some of the legends of the genre to convince them to sing once again.

The documentary takes the time to really highlight the songs and history of harana whilst taking the audience on a journey across the country. It is an enjoyable film, although it was a bit long for my liking. Aguilar is a fabulous frontman for the film, drawing out the beautiful music from the past into the present, and I challenge you to watch the film and not fall at least a little bit in love with the master musicians.

Harana screens at ACMI on Saturday, July 27 at 1:30pm and Sunday, August 4 at 9pm. To book tickets, visit http://miff.com.au/


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