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Amusin Pa: Of Regional Tale-Telling

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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.
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Buybust: A Middle-class Study

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By Heinrich Domingo

And when the innocents were killed, the audience erupts in cheers.

It is Cinemalaya’s opening night. I joined hundreds of cinema enthusiasts while enduring the Friday traffic of Manila to watch this year’s opening film. Buybust tells the story of a drug raid in an urban jungle in Tondo. It follows an operation of a team of PDEA, the country’s topmost police agency specifically made to counter the drug trade. In a time when the war on drugs is the President’s main platform, Erik Matti’s choice of narrative is poignant and bold.

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Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko: A Look Into the Classical Film’s Phenomenon

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Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko is worth reliving neither because of its blockbuster success nor its well-loved cast. This film invites the audience to have a peek on a curious moment in the history of Philippine cinema – a moment when the biggest film studio is building the idea of classical films and national cinema while using its own criteria and qualifications.

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Mila: Cinema of the Masses

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By Heinrich Domingo

Mila is a timeless piece of art that leaves valuable lessons not only to its audience but to filmmakers alike. Through treating the movie viewers with utmost respect, it shows that the masses can relate and understand social issues and realities. This film is too confident on its viewers that it offers layers of complex themes and discussions in a limited span of time.

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Seklusyon: Opening Doors for Change

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By Heinrich Domingo

Seklusyon begins with an interesting story. It is set in the 1940s, with religion and mysticism luring viewers to dip into its narrative. But as it progresses, this inviting story turns into a murky narrative that engulfs the viewers to a mar of confusion and disappointment. It is a story coming in so strong but failing to land with a solid end.

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