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By Heinrich Domingo

A young man weakened by AIDS is brought to the hospital after reaching a terminal stage of his disease. With him in the room are two other patients who also suffer from the same condition. He befriends a beautiful nurse who tirelessly cares for him despite him being rude and mean. The story later reveals that this friendship is actually motivated by a graver reason. Both of their lives are joined together by a common enemy.

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Caritas wows the crowed with an outstanding performance from its neophyte cast lead by Ross Pesigan and Anna Luna. The portrayal of AIDS victims as well as the torment felt by people surrounding them is superb. Despite the minute failures on prosthetics, characters shown in front of the camera are realistic enough to solicit sympathy.

Although the film has been clear on its advocacy against AIDS, it was not able to tie up all the elements it presented. The story talked of friendship in the midst of death, family support of AIDS victims, and failure to identify HIV carriers. Yet, these issues were not given emphasis on the film’s ending.

It is true that short films can only do so much in the limited time it has. This is the same reason why films, in general, have to make sure that the elements they include in the plot can actually be discussed before the film stops rolling.

Directed by: Ariel Buenaventura II
College of Saint Benilde
Paranaque City

2 stars

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