PeliKULA! Pin@y Film Series at Bayanihan

3 11 2009

For my first volunteering event, I chose to help out with the Film Series at Bayanihan, a Filipino Community Center on 6th and Mission. Not being Filipino, I was somewhat nervous, but I ended up having a great time. I had a chance to watch the films produced by Filipino directors and writers while I manned the concession stand, and got free cassava cake (which I’ve never tried before). “No. 4” was a short about an older Japanese couple who are held hostage in their own trailer when a manic stranger trespasses. “Kundiman” was a short about a psychotic nurse, damaged by a history of torture and her reproduction of it in her later life. “Last Full Show” was about a young boy exploring the gay scene in Manila and his experience there. “God Only Knows” was about a young mother who sends her son to a better life, while the viewer discovers that the adopting parent is a pedophile.
The most interesting part of the afternoon was the Q&A session, as the directors sat in front and answered questions about their films. Some of the cool things I learned about was the research involved in creating a film. Benito Bautista, director of No. 4, indulged himself in Japanese culture in order to correctly depict the relationship between Mitsuko and Kazuo. These names were names that the older generation of Japanese people would have (ie – younger Japanese people would not have these names now). In addition, the actor who portrayed the stranger didn’t actually meet the couple until they filmed the initial scene. He said he wanted the strangeness to be genuine. When “Matsuo” was in makeup on one side of the set, Benito ensured that the “stranger” was on the opposite side of the set.
I had a great time at Bayanihan. Diane, RJ, and Margaret were awesome and I learned a lot.
-Lauren Quach

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