The indie film industry in the Philippines has been an intriguing subject for me. I have never seen one movie at all well except today.
After burning my fats at the gym, I asked myself if I can afford to watch a movie. Ashamed as I am, but I was already PHP 1000 negative as of Thursday last week. By “negative” I mean, that I owe my parents money since my ATM ran empty for what so ever reason that I don’t know (HMMMM, that would be an interesting topic to write about too..note to self). Going back. I have wanted to watch this indie film from the recently concluded Cinemalaya (Philippines’ only indie film festival) called ANG BABAE SA SEPTIC TANK (The Woman in the Septic Tank). Having hear reviews from a good friends, I wanted to see it for myself plus ANG SAYAW NG DALAWANG KALIWANG PAA(The Dance with Two Left Feet). The first movie, because of amazing reviews was able to go mainstream primarily because the star of the film is a rising comedienne whom I liked since she was good.
Since it is my first indie movie ever, I did not know what to expect. I know that it would be definitely a different one from the conventional movies since budget is low for production but the story is normally good and it have that “kurot” (pinch) at the heart, I guess.
So there I was sitting in the movie house early for the 5:00pm screening (I was not so sure of the time since I keep time 40 minutes in advance, hahaha) enjoying my regular sized sour cream popcorn and water(yes, DIET??!) while several trailers of movies were being shown. I made a mental note on the movies that I had to watch out for. And the trailers kept coming, and the trailers kept coming, and the trailers kept coming. (my list of movies to watch out for was growing longer). Then finally the movie started.
It was a bit dragging, the beginning of the movie. The shot was that of the slums, showcasing the normal day to day life that one can expect. It showed a woman, cooking one pack of instant noodles to be shared by her and her seven children. The woman bathing her daughter. The woman dressing her daughter. The woman and her daughter, walking out of their neighbourhood, heading towards a condominium. The receptionist looking at the mother and daughter as they walked past the lobby to the elevators. The mother and daughter walking through the hotel corridor the stopping at a door who was opened by an old foreigner. The mother leaving her daughter with the man then rushing to the fire exist to cry her eyes out. There were no dialogues, just a narration that this is a scene, the shot, the time, and what happens in the scene. It was about poverty, human trafficking, and paedophilia. Well, the story of the movie within the movie that is.
The scenes were from the vivid imagination more like dream sequence of the production assistant that was travelling with her producer and director while travelling to a coffee shop, their pitstop before heading out for a meeting with the famous comedienne mentioned earlier. They ordered coffee with non fat milk(hmmm, health conscious much??). They ran in to an arch-nemesis whom they loathe so much for being a cocky <toot><toot> (it’s censored..sorry). Then they went to meet with the one and only Eugene Domingo. On the way, there was another couple of dream sequences where they are debating if Eugene Domingo is the best actress to play the role of Mila(the woman in the movie) or if two others would fit the role better or a non-actor. They settled for Eugene since they were already meeting her. Then the other one was the movie being a musical! It was amazing! I personally liked that one.
They arrive in Ms. Domingo’s residence, which by the way was finest crib that I have ever seen! Though I am not sure of this is her actual residence but it was so dang FINE in a major major way! Then came my most favorite part of the movie. I will not describe it here. YOU HAVE TO CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELVES! There is a guarantee that you will laugh your heart out. I did thanks to Eugene’s brilliance.
Location scouting was next shown. The director, producer and PA found the perfect location that they wanted to shoot only to find their car being pillaged by the slummers (people from the slums). Imagine the disappointment and helplessness. Well, it happens in life.
You might be asking how the name “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” came to be?? Well, that was my question also. But then I saw the movie. You’ll get it I promise and it is the biggest surprise ever.