Tuesday, August 5, 2014

CinemalayaX: Sundalong Kanin

I haven't watched a movie in weeks! So when my friends started talking about catching this year's Cinemalaya Film Festival, I took it as a sign to take a break. My film of choice was Sundalong Kanin. Was hoping to catch it on my side of town (select Ayala Malls are screening this), so I made sure I caught the special screening at Trinoma yesterday.

[From www.sundalongkanin.com] The year was 1941. Across the world, seats of power are shifting; alliances are being made between countries to fight off other alliances; and innocent people are being killed; and the Philippines is caught in the middle of it. However, in the small town of San Nicolas, four boys – Nitoy, Benny, Carding and Badong, saw this as an opportunity to prove that they were no longer boys, instead they are men ready to join the war and fight for their country. Armed with their slingshots and arrows, they looked for the guerillas determined to show them that they can be valuable in the fight versus the Japanese Army who marched into their town and took over.

Despite the fact that no one took them seriously, the boys continued with their mission – spying on the Japanese soldiers, who now occupy their school, and passing on this information to the guerillas. Things changed, however, when the people closest to them became victims of the war. Now, they have to face each other, not as friends, but as enemies. Each determined to avenge their families, each determined to fight like a soldier and protect the people that they love.

Initially, the movie reminded me of the popular, coming-of-age 80s movie, Stand By Me. I think that was what drew me in - my love for movies with old settings, hehe. Sundalong Kanin, however, depicts how innocent lives are lost during times of war, not only in death but in experiences. That is what was most painful to watch - seeing how the kids were forced to grow up because of the war. Stories of war are never easy to take in. Sundalong Kanin is no exception - ang dami kong iyak!

The film brought me back to past conversations with my maternal grandfather, who had to witness not only the war when he was young, but also the death of his very own mother, my great grandmom, when they were fleeing from a bomb attack. I remember him telling me how he was forced to take charge of his siblings after that happened.

This film is sure to tug at the heart. So yes, expect a lot of tears.

Sundalong Kanin is directed by Janice O'Hara, and will show at the following theatres all week:

August 6
6:15 PM - CCP MKP Hall 
9:00 PM - Trinoma Cinema 1 

August 7
1:30 AM - Greenbelt 3 Cinema 5 
6:15 PM - CCP Main Theatre (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) 

August 8
12:45 PM - CCP Studio Theater (Tanghalang Huseng Batute) 
9:00 PM - Alabang Town Center Cinema 4 
9:00 PM - Greenbelt 3 Cinema 4 

August 9
1:30 PM - Fairview Terraces Cinema 5 

August 10
4:00 PM - Trinoma Cinema 4

| facebook.com/AngSundalongKanin

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