By Heinrich Domingo
Death is almost always difficult to portray in media. It has a certain foul vibe that is simply not palatable for the mass audience to consume. Kinabukasan introduced death in cinema using a different perspective, one that looks into the eyes of the family members left to mourn. It is a film that brilliantly captured the transition period between lamentation and moving on.
A deceased woman’s son and partner met a day after her cremation. They decided upon who gets what on things she left behind. Although they barely know each other, they served as each other’s comfort under a difficult situation. Kinabukasan’s story pierced through the heart of its viewers. Despite the lack of shouts and wails from characters, the plot spoke to the crowd through the language of the abandoned. With the calm demeanor of Nora Aunor and Alden Richards, the film proved that melodrama can sometimes be portrayed in the subtlest of acting.
Nora and Alden’s performances defined this short film. Their “as is” acting jibed with the plot’s subtle discussion on same-sex union. Although no concrete stance was presented in the film, taking such topic under the limelight of Filipino media is revolutionary.
Director Adolf Alix Jr.’s technique in this film deviated from the typical treatment of drama stories in the Philippine media. Yet, this method coincided with what the film wants to tell – that pain, suffering, and lamentation can be portrayed in a performance bereft of exaggeration.