Adam, a naturalised Filipino-American on his way to attend his father’s funeral in Manila, is about to get a welcome home he’ll never forget. It starts with a mysterious caller on his cell phone. Before long, he is forced to witness the reality of his home country, from the living conditions in the filthiest slums to the religious extremism that puts his very life at risk.
Cavite is a nail-biting rollercoaster ride of a thriller that takes the war on terror to a wholly personal level. Winner of the Special Jury Award at both the South by Southwest and San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival, it already has critics raving, with Kirk Honeycutt from The Hollywood Reporter calling it “guerrilla filmmaking at its finest.”
Directors Ian Gamazon and Neill dela Llana have declared war on traditional filmmaking with tactics straight out of the embedded journalists’ rulebook. With what Variety’s Robert Koehler calls “a gutsy, athletic filmmaking package that shows what can be done with a minimum of tools,” this two-man band has crafted one of the most exciting and truly independent features this year. Using a hand-held camera that lends realism to the relentless intensity of Adam’s unwinnable dilemma, this indie film has made the socio-political juxtaposition of extreme poverty and multinational globalisation so pristinely urgent and clear. Cavite is an all too timely look at a problem that no one has been able to solve: is there truly a way to win against terrorism?
Director: Larilyn Sanchez, Riza Manalo | USA 2003 | 5:00 | Video
A woman’s face is all we see … as we hear of all the gifts sent over by a relative working overseas. Translated as “Homebound” in English, Balikbayan is a touching, sad and shocking tale that explores the effect of globalised consumerism on developing countries.
Neill dela Llana