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The Aswang Phenomenon| 1hr : 17mins
Director: Jordan Clark | Producer: Jordan Clark & Cheryl Anne del Rosario
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: Canada
Subject Tags: asia, belief, culture, philippines, religion
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
What would happen if a country of 97 million people were taught at a young age that the boogie man was real? In the Philippines, this isn’t far from the truth. Over the last 400 years, the ‘aswang’ has come to represent everything that is "vile, disgusting, and evil in Philippine society." It has become the most controversial, and popular, creature in Philippine mythology and is the subject of hundreds of movies, television programs, comics, and books. The aswang can appear in many forms: a young woman, a witch, a large black pig or dog, a corpse-stealing ghoul, or the Manananggal, a self-segmenting beast with a long hollow tongue that feeds on the fetus of a pregnant woman. Where did this word come from? Why are there so many different types of aswang? Why are they predominantly women? And why is the small Visayan province of Capiz suspected as their home? Jordan Clark (Bangkok Girl) sets out to find the answers. His journey explores folk stories in the pre-Spanish Philippines, recreated in animated sequences by Denver Jackson. He uncovers historical tales of social control and black propaganda by Spanish colonizers, the Catholic Church, the Philippine administration, and even the CIA, all of whom used the stories of aswang for their own agenda. "The Aswang Phenomenon" is the first in-depth documentary regarding the aswang myth, discovering where manifestations of the creature came from and how they evolved and embedded themselves in Filipino society. Learn how Filipinos have been transformed by the myth and are now evolving the aswang to fit into their developing cultural identity.

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