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By Heinrich Domingo

Set inside a cramped house, this short film narrates the story of a young girl seeking to define her gender and identity. She started to dress in man’s clothes and cut her hair short which dismayed her mother and sister. Luna served as a text that needs to be read and interpreted. It required viewers to look beyond what is on the screen because its visual presentations are merely metaphors.

cinefilipino-2016-luna-poster

This film beautifully uses its visual elements in delivering a contested topic of transgenderism. It does so within a limited amount of time and a limited number of frames. Bullying, family acceptance, support group, anxiety and depression are among the many issues discussed in the plot. Luna is neither technically magnificent nor story-wise excellent but its creative method of clarity despite subtlety is commendable.

It offers no concrete ending and resolution. The audience is given the burden to think of how a confused teenager must continue her life. For a crowd who is unfamiliar of the LGBT causes, let alone transgender transitioning, this lacking aspect can hurt the plot.

Luna epitomizes the essence of independent films. While mainstream films have the luxury to afford unnecessary crane shots or popular albeit incompetent cast, indie movies have to make the most out of the limited resources. This film proved that a meager budget does not impede a good story to connect to the audience.

Directed by: Rae Red
CineFilipino 2016 Short Film competition

3.5 stars

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