By: Heinrich Domingo
Regional films are treading on a very thin line: they either snob their rural context and environment or they do so much to the point of exoticization. Amusin Pa traverses this line at ease. It situates the audience in a Southern Tagalog setting without necessarily alienating them or the characters in the narrative.
Amusin Pa tells the story of a young boy who got a crush on a beautiful lady in their barrio. In a few days, she has to be back to her city life. Knowing this, he makes it a mission to woo his new-found love.
The film uses the language and culture of Southern Tagalog with neither prejudice nor unnecessary cultural pride. It discusses the story of the characters in their daily lives. No spectacle. No fuss. With this choice of storytelling, the film effectively emphasizes the rural agricultural life. Without the need to appear native or exotic, the film shows the simple often uneventful barrio life through the eyes of a kid in love.
The film also hints at the struggles of probinsyanos and probinsyanas making a life in the city. They leave the comforts of rural living to brave the urban madness for better opportunities. Home is a fleeting concept for them. Friends and neighbors are once-in-a-holiday affairs.
Amusin Pa is an interesting addition to the growing list of regional (short) films in the country. Its take on the discussion of regional and cultural life suggests an innovative way to film the stories in the regions. It contributes to the on-going formation of regional cinema.