I hardly watch local films because most of their stories skew logic and nothing is art unless 99% is devoted to filth, squalor, murder, prostitution, and corruption as if these were the only things that characterized Filipinos, or this country, for that matter. If it’s not about filth and poverty, then a film must feature love teams (I don’t get this idea) and ten million music video-like scenes that have nothing to do with the entire story, or horror films that are not even scary. The only local films in the past 6 years that were not churned by Mother Lily or the Kapamilya network that I honestly enjoyed were Crying Ladies and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros)–both films dealt with the harshness of life without leaving viewers shocked nor alienated. I’m sure there have been a few good local films, but if our only representations on the international stage are filth, poverty, and all sorts of social injustices, then what have we been working for all along?
In this review of a Pinoy film that was shown in Cannes, it’s fun to note that while Roger Ebert focused on the film, some people managed to equate a negative review of a movie with an impression of a country. And then the squabble began among Filipino commenters. Fun.