In this adventurous experiment in storytelling, secret identities, missing persons, lost treasures, exotic beasts and desperate criminals are only a few of the elements woven into a grand tapestry of mysteries.
This experimental Filipino movie is far from a total success, but at least its in-your-face strangeness will make it somewhat interesting for those interested in seeing films of a different sort. The start is akin to a test of endurance for cinephiles, as the camera stands still showing nothing but a couple sleeping in the floor of a hut for the first 15 minutes (I'm not making this up, I looked at my watch). Eventually, the woman, who is unable to sleep, wakes up the man at her side, telling him to tell her a story so she can sleep. He complies with a rambling monologue about the suffering of the Filipino people. The film then moves on to the better second part, where fake footage in the style of silent movies is shown. This shows life in the Philippines supposedly during the end of the colonial period through a series of vignettes. These vignettes are mildly humorous (one shows a number of children looking at an eclipse with gaping mouths). Eventually, something akin to a story comes out of the movie, as revolutionaries meet to plan rebellion from Spanish rule. It's hard to compare this movie with other films, though its fetishism of silent movies recalls the work of Guy Maddin. I found it also reminiscent of a better movie, "Moeder Dao" in which real documentary footage of colonial life in Indonesia was shown.
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