Tuesday, October 6
Kinatay (Philippines, 2009)
Like Joseph Garcin in Jean Paul-Sartre's No Exit, Peping didn't realize that the room he was about to enter was hell. And when it dawned on him somewhere between buying balut and the ragged butchering, he couldn't---didn't---want to leave the safety of being in the dark.
Geography and malice are indiscernibles; the mind is in equal footing with matter. The dark, chaotic streets of Manila may as well be purgatory, twisting and squeezing the morality out of the film.
There are no surprises in Brillante Mendoza's parable of a young man's descent to something less human, but it is hypnotic. It is an experience, more than anything else.
This was supposed to be my shelter from the storm. Trapped in a mall while a typhoon drowned and destroyed Metro Manila, Kinatay became the dangerously perfect metaphor to the (perceived) pointlessness of it all.
Its blanket nihilism makes the film susceptible to both severe criticism and blind praises. It is an empty canvas.
A negative space.
Politics. Censorship. Arthouse experiment. A heart of darkness.