Peping, a criminology student, is recruited by his schoolmate, Abyong, to work as a part-time errand boy for a local syndicate that collects protection fees from various businesses in Manila. The easy money Peping earns is spent mostly on his girlfriend, Cecille, who’s also a student. Peping decides to marry her, but in order to do so he’ll need more money. Abyong contacts Peping to join a “special project” that pays more than normal… Read More »
Lakbayan (Journey) is an omnibus film that consists of Brillante Mendoza’s Desfocado (Defocused), Lav Diaz’s Hugaw (Dirt) and National Artis for Film Kidlat Tahimik’s Lakaran Ni Kabunyan (Kabunyan’s Journey).
It tells three tales of the Filipino journey. An unemployed cameraman joins a protest march of farmers asking the government to help them reclaim their ancestral land stolen by the powerful in Desfocado. In Hugaw, it is also the powerful that controls an island where a young miner contests the problems and the status quo. A mosaic artist is empowered as he arrives at his destination while traveling from island to island in Lakaran Ni Kabunyan. Read More »
Ma’ Rosa has four children. She owns a small convenience store in a poor neighborhood of Manila where everybody likes her. To make ends meet, Rosa and her husband, Nestor, resell small amounts of narcotics on the side. One day, they get arrested. Rosa and her children are ready to do anything to buy her freedom from the corrupt police. Read More »
A drama that follows the travails of the Pineda family in the Filipino city of Angeles. Bigamy, unwanted pregnancy, possible incest and bothersome skin irritations are all part of their daily challenges, but the real “star” of the show is an enormous, dilapidated movie theater that doubles as family business and living space. At one time a prestige establishment, the theater now runs porn double bills and serves as a meeting ground for hustlers of every conceivable persuasion. The film captures the sordid, fetid atmosphere, interweaving various family subplots with the comings and goings of customers, thieves and even a runaway goat while enveloping the viewer in a maelstrom of sound, noise and continuous motion. Read More »
About a month after the Holy Week, a major national election will take place. What future does it hold for a motley group of TIRADORS–local slang for petty thieves—whose daily survival depends on fast fingers and yearly atonement on divine grace? The tiradors all live in an old dilapidated tenement building in the slums of QUIAPO, a busy business district of Manila where they ply their trade. Read More »
Ostensibly a fiction film about a foster mother (Cherry Pie Picache) in the outskirts of Manila spending her last day with her latest foster child (Kier Segundo), Foster Child is actually a home movie tour de force. It takes a Dziga Vertov or Hou Hsiao-Hsien to make sense out of every aspect of quotidian living, and so Foster Child is merely content with a strong sense of cluttered, bustling place: children running everywhere, playing everywhere, peeing everywhere, and parents wrangling them together for dinner, dances, school, appointments, and trips around the neighborhood. Like Cristian Mungiu did in his recent 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Brillante Mendoza attempts to take the camera from the opening shot of Touch of Evil to quotidian life in the slums. Read More »