Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Viewer’s Take: Short Review of “Dalawang Ama” and “Sekend” Presentations

The junior communications students from the school where I work came up with two projects for their theater and film classes.* These two turned out to be good presentations although there were some points in which improvements could be made. A personal question just cropped up in my mind: why put this in Back Trails? First off, the first part concerns a creation of our national hero while the second concerns a theme of socio-cultural and historical (albeit contemporary) interests.

* "Dalawang Ama" poster
Dalawang Ama
“Dalawang Ama” is a play that dwells on the “what if” theme. The story revolves around the day (or night as the play has portrayed it) Doña Pia of the famed Noli Me Tangere gave birth to her daughter Maria Clara. The play attempts to answer the question: what if we could be able to see this part not explicitly written in the Noli? The central character in the play, Padre Damaso, is caught between his role as a religious adviser to the de los Santos family and the (secret) fact that he is the father of the yet unborn child. Kapitan Tiyago also appeared in the play. Seemingly thrown into an existential dilemma, he grappled for clarifications for Pia’s clamors for forgiveness about the child when in the fact, they have wanted to have a child of their own for so long. Padre Damaso’s all too obvious concern and anxiety about Pia’s labor is offset by the comical lines of the family’s yaya (a family relative based on the play) who had almost forced poor Padre Damaso into confessing the “truth.”
The short play is beautiful in the sense that it gave us a glimpse into a gray area of the Noli, a part in the novel which Jose Rizal chose not to detail.

* "Sekend" poster

The short film “Sekend” draws inspiration from an energy drink commercial showing a boy chasing a paper containing the outline of the size of his foot. The plot is basically a shared dream between two brothers who both wanted to win a pair of shoes from a local race. Earlier in the film, it was shown that they had to share a pair of shoes to go to school. As the film progressed, the situation of the brothers’ family was shown – how they had to fix the lone pair of shoes they are using and how they attempted to help their mother by collecting junk so that they can buy their food.
The older brother draws inspiration from his younger sibling as he went to participate in the race. His motivation seemed to have exceeded his goals that he eventually won the first prize instead of the second prize in which the new pair of shoes was at stake. The film ends with the two brothers crying, the older one clutching his new bicycle while eyeing the new pair of shoes.
The film was touching to a certain extent for it sends out a message that not all the best things in life are the ones that people seek. Sometimes, even the next best thing proves to be only thing that one desires. In the closing part, a data snippet was shown about poverty where children are mostly involved.

* The presentations were shown as part of the ARt-RIBA FESTIVAL held at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Calamba on March 16-18, 2011. | “Dalawang Ama”: written by Mr. Jose Victor Z. Torres, directed by Mr. Bart Andrew S. Mendoza | “Sekend”: produced by the third-year AB COMM students of Colegio de San Juan de Letran Calamba | written and directed by Mr. Bart Andrew S. Mendoza.

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