Thursday, 13 September 2007

Pisay

English Title: Philippine Science
Director: Auraeus Solito
Country: Philippines

This movie is a coming of age high school story that chronicles the lives of a group of students at the Philippine Science High School (nicknamed Pisay in the Philippines) during the mid-80s, a politically turbulent time in the country. Each year, from freshman to senior, follows one or two characters as they go through hardships and successes both personally and academically in the backdrop of the political changes of the time.

This was my favourite film of the day and my second favourite of the festival so far. I went into this movie looking for a Filipino movie that wasn't just a mindless attempt to get a few laughs and some money, and I was certainly not disappointed. In fact, this film does two things very well. Firstly, it does what the director intended, to portray Filipinos as more than just fools or hospitality workers, but as intelligent people who are just like everybody else. What it also does is provide a perspective of life during the time of the people's revolution of the mid-80s and of the internal politics of the PSHS. Another thing I liked about it is that the script was funny without being pretentious. The story itself was very good due to the fact that it drew upon many facets of the Auraeus Solito's time at Pisay.

I highly recommend this movie, although I may be a bit biased as I am a Filipino, and was very proud to be one after seeing it, as were most of the audience (I barely saw anybody in the audience who weren't Filipino) when the credits rolled and the applause filled the room.

Q&A: The director, writer, and the actor who played Auraeus Solito's alter-ego went up on stage to answer a few questions after the movie. Most of the questions were congratulating them on making a great film and asking things about certain bits of the story and how similar it was to real life. The bit I liked best was when somebody was nitpicking about how it was the counselor and not the physics teacher that usually makes the speeches to the students. Solito replied that it was a cinematic device that they used so they didn't have to hire another actor. Solito: 1, that guy: 0.

1 comment:

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