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1️⃣ THE SLUMS 4/5

Directed by: Jan Andrei Cobey

A poor Filipino family, who survived a fire tragedy, gets interviewed by the media for documentary purposes.

From its opening scene alone, the film already made a mark by using a familiar quote with an unconventional approach. They have set the mood with a bang.

They keep on asking questions that challenge norms and beliefs, allowing you to find answers and seek for the truth.

How do you handle the truth?

Each character has its own way. Every family member gets the opportunity to share their talent and wisdom. The actors are applaudable with their performance. Never a dull moment, for their actions contain both humor and insight.

This film is a comedy with a purpose. They are sending a message to the community.

The vibrant colors, bold script and animated storytelling work hand-in-hand to break the stereotypes. They have successfully built a channel promoting programs that are authentic.

You’ll never regret subscribing to this film.


Directed by: Reeden Fajardo

A mother prepares a special meal for her son’s homecoming.

Even though we don’t get to witness the growth of their relationship, we get the chance to taste the sweetness of their love.

The film’s presentation is light and straightforward. They are not afraid to tell what they feel, yet they are conscious of their actions. They were able to relay their message with no pretension and prejudice.

The characters are genuine and vulnerable. With lines speaking directly through the heart, the conversations strike a chord.

The scoring helped in creating a seamless connection among the characters. The background music carries the right mood to further amplify special moments.

The film has a beautiful rhythm and ending, keeping your emotions intact.

3️⃣ FATIGUED 2/5

Directed by: James Robin Mayo

You are trapped in a dimension where your mind and soul must try to win over a game entitled “Fatigued”.

This film plays around with your emotions by interacting with you through words and visuals. Their constant connection with the audience keeps you attuned from start to finish; a gripping vibe is prevalent.

The opening sequence creates an inviting mood that allows you to enter the virtual space they’re presenting. They let you zone out from reality to mock reality—hoping to view the world from a different light.

Once you’re inside their world, they would insert elements that generate curiosity or fear. Either way, it doesn’t help in creating a valuable experience as whole.

There were missed opportunities and information involving workspace, attitude and environment—which could have put a deeper meaning behind the dark emotions they are imparting.

This film makes you feel fatigued due to its consistent gloomy atmosphere, and not because of its ulterior motive.


Directed by: Sonny Calvento

A probationary employee is on the verge of regularization, but life keeps coming in her way.

The presence of satire in this film gives them an easy pass to depict a life beyond the norm. Their opening number provides a head start on the message they’re relaying.

The campy approach of the characters makes a good chuckle towards the bad things in life.

Despite its odd presentation, the conversations are candid—with some lines directly tackling the issues they intend to cover.

The film is full of fake images that speak the truth, but they are said in a hasty manner.

The images helped in either emphasizing or deconstructing their message. The repetitive absurdity tends to overkill their thought concerning work and employment.

Their usage of satire crosses the line from being ironic to being apathetic, lacking sincerity in addressing the needed issues.


Directed by: Martika Ramirez Escobar

A couple is having conversations about simple things in life.

The flow of their conversation is unnatural, making it hard to follow their train of thought. They try to be creative with their depiction of love, but it gets superficial and alienated.

The cardboard metaphor is a giveway representation of one’s relationship. They have the tendency to overuse it in a literal sense, since they’re not diving deeply into the character’s persona.

You are detached from their relationship. You are outside their world, watching from afar.

The film being consistent and devoted to its eccentric world makes a peculiar impact towards the end. The actions of the main character then resonate a familiar touch—showing how to adjust and live by the things you can’t truly explain.

6️⃣ UTWAS 1/5

Directed by: Richard Salvadico & Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay

A father teaches his son how to dive and fish for livelihood.

The beauty of the ocean is the star of this film. The breathtaking scenery captures your attention, opening your eyes to the natural wonders and its possible disasters. They subtly impart advocacies that deserve to be heard, but the message is not as resounding as it should be.

The scenes are mostly used for visual feast and not for story sharing. The connection between the father and son is fleeting. The conversations are based on a script that only narrates the facts.

There’s less gravity behind the lines, when there’s no story and background we can hold onto.

The waves of the ocean didn’t coincide with the depth of characters, losing balance to overall beauty of this film.

7️⃣ TOKWIFI 1/5

Directed by: Carla Pulido Ocampo

Two people from different worlds meet and communicate with each other.

Legendary tales and informative facts were shared to describe the essence of their relationship; more so, to impart cultural relevance to the situation.

All these elements constitute to an undescribable magical sensation. But none of which resonate into a feeling we can truly savor and appreciate.

The film dwells on sharing more of their knowledge and not their experience. They keep on throwing information that piles up and forms as a barrier. You cannot see through them.

What remains is the oddity and blurriness of the situation, instead of the intimate memories that you’re supposed to relive.


Directed by: Janina Gacosta & Cheska Marfori

An old man visits a record store to have his broken vinyl fixed. Will he able to fix what was once broken?

This film starts with a couple of intro statements that will pre-empt your whole movie experience, losing excitement to some possible revelations and turnabouts.

Along with the pre-emption, the intro statements didn’t live up to its promise.

The main character was not given the chance to share his own story. His relationship with other people needs more build-up to produce meaningful moments.

The scenes were only appealing to the ears and the eyes, but not passing thru the heart. There’s always a disconnect, and we can’t fix it.

It’s broken.

9️⃣ PABASA KAN PASYON (Chanting The Passion) 0/5

Directed by: Hubert Tibi

A mother and son tandem earns money by enacting religious rituals.

The plot seems to be promising, but the storytelling lacks passion. There are a lot of sybolisms that remain afloat due to their passiveness in sharing a concrete and cohesive storyline.

The scoring creates an anti-climactic experience, driving your emotions into a state of excitement—which they failed to sustain and utilize.

The black and white aesthetic only emphasizes the film’s lack of life and colors. Their story remains to be in the shadow, with no strong voice to share.

🔟 ANG PAGPAKALMA SA UNOS (To Calm The Pig Inside) 0/5

Directed by: Joanna Vasquez Arong

An anonymous person shares her perspective about the Super Typhoon that hit their city last 2013.

Having a common theme which is the Typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan, the film manages to throw as many subtopics as they can think of.

What we get is a compilation of news, photos and commentaries—with no solid direction and proper transition.

Her thoughts are scattered all throughout the film. The storytelling feels like a whirlwind experience wherein any subtopics can jump in anytime without a warning.

The presentation has no focus, failing to concentrate on a particular issue to arrive at a more affecting message.

They are afraid to lose any of their content, so they are showing everything. This film doesn’t have the courage to make a firm stand.

Date Released: August 7-16, 2020 for Cinemalaya 2020

Movie Review Ranking by: Goldwin Reviews



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