America has ‘liberated’ the Philippines and the islands have just been proclaimed a new republic.
Every morning, at the crack of dawn, Father and Mother stretch Julio, pulling his limbs in opposite directions. They make him drink a concoction made from the liver of codfish, believed to stimulate growth in children. He stands in the blazing heat of the sun.
The family swells in size to six children. Father hunts for food while Mother tends to domestic duties, leaving Julio and his siblings alone, exposed to their lush natural environs. Soon enough, the youngest two are taken away and distributed amongst the two aunts without offspring of their own.
Big Boy chronicles the growth of a family, the myths of progress that consume them and the violence not just in war and colonization, but also that which is inherent in coming into being—for a boy, a man and a nation.
Q&A with filmmaker Shireen Seno