Thursday, 15 November 2012

See Sea Gypsys or Bajau's on Film

Coincidence or something greater?
They say things happen in threes, well then I'm waiting for the third because these are the two so far that I know of

Thy Womb by Brillante Mendoza (Filipino) and The Mirror Never Lies by Kamila Andini (Indonesian)

The common factor?
A Bajo Village
Both these films are stories involving the Bajo (Bajau), an ethnic minority that live on the ocean. Their houses are built on stilts and their transport is by boat and they live off the sea.

after which is where the two films probably depart.

Thy Womb premiered at Venice this year where although it didn't take out the biggies did collect three awards and it has also been to Toronto & Busan. Not a bad year!
I am yet to see this one and wish I could be in Brisbane for BIFF 2012 because they are showing it on the Mon 19th and Sun 25th November. Its headlining actress is Nora Aunor (Pinoy superstar) who plays an infertile midwife. Her husband wants a child of his own and thus she seeks out a fertile woman for him played by Lovi Poe.
And of course Mercedes Cabral is in it too.

The Mirror Never Lies I have seen and it is a beautiful tale of a young girl coming to terms with her fathers disappearance at sea. She swears that he will return but he never does. It features a lovely ensemble of children as the main cast and the amazing part is that they all are native Bajo and have never acted before. This achievement is totally reflective of the director Kamila who has made documentaries up until this film and has fostered relationships with these people over a number of years. I caught this film at MIFF this year and was lucky enough to meet Kamila and hear her speak after the film. Fascinating Stuff!

It, like Thy Womb has traveled and been to Busan and Edinburgh and a swag of other festivals and also scooped its fair share of awards. It was part of BIFF's Cine Sparks (The International Film Festival For Young People) in October of this year. So I hope you saw it then Brissy?
Pakis is hoping to catch the shadow of her father through using the mirror

What I am now waiting for is the third Bajo film to make its appearance...
...and this anticipation is quite exciting!

You can catch Brillante Mendoza at BIFF in a free industry talk on Mon 19th Nov at 4.30pm
Thy Womb is also up for Best Director and Best Actress, I think Nora may win.

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