Written, Directed,produced by: Khavn dela cruz
Assitant director: Rayg Generoso
Cinematographer: Albert Banzon
"Genuine punk on the soundtrack. A catchy picture of a slum district on the coast near Manila. Black & white shots edited in an equally catchy rhythm. Or how an authentic picture of little boys who literally live on and from rubbish can be edited. Lust for life."
Time & Tide, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2007
Grand Jury Prize, Cinemanila International Film Festival
Filmed in just one day, Squatterpunk follows an eight year old Slum King named Hapon, a cocky would-be gangster with a Travis Bickle haircut, and his rat-bag minions through one of the thousands of shanty towns that spring up between the cracks in the Manila pavements. The manic collage of stunning hand-held black and white images capture kids being kids as they frolic amidst the cardboard and corrugated walls of home-sweet-home and the surrounding debris, human and otherwise. Like watching infants at play at a car crash, it's a mesmerizing, almost seamless collision of social realism and visual poetry. It's a rush to the heart, too, fueled by the mostly improvised punk score by Khavn's outfit The Brockas. The relentless clang-bang drowns the need for dialog or most background noise, leaving a stark impression without comment and, more significantly, without judgment. A vivid and jarring collection of postcards of innocence at the brink of a short and possibly non-existent adolescence, of simple pleasures amidst appalling squalor, of human junk that society ignores in a country the rest of the world prefers to forget. Written by Andrew Leavold