National Artist for Cinema (2003)
(July 7, 1924 – May 28, 2013)
A screenwriter, film director and producer, Eddie Romero is the quintessential Filipino filmmaker whose life is devoted to the art and commerce of cinema spanning three generations of filmmakers. His film “Ganito Kami Noon…Paano Kayo Ngayon?,” set at the turn of the century during the revolution against the Spaniards and, later, the American colonizers, follows a naïve peasant through his leap of faith to become a member of an imagined community. “Aguila” situates a family’s story against the backdrop of the country’s history. “Kamakalawa” explores the folkloric of prehistoric Philippines. “Banta ng Kahapon,” his ‘small’ political film, is set against the turmoil of the late 1960s, tracing the connection of the underworld to the corrupt halls of politics. His 13-part series of “Noli Me Tangere” brings the national hero’s polemic novel to a new generation of viewers.
Romero, the ambitious yet practical artist, was not satisfied with dreaming up grand ideas. He found ways to produce these dreams into films. His concepts, ironically, as stated in the National Artist citation “are delivered in an utterly simple style – minimalist, but never empty, always calculated, precise and functional, but never predictable.”