Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Para Kay Ama (Relyn Tan, 2012)

My favorite non-Cinemalaya short of 2012, Para Kay Ama, is now my fave Cinemalaya short feature this year.

A welcome addition to the scant Chinoy filmography, the short film is a one-shot, marvelous look at a secret unveiled during the wake of a Chinese patriarch. 

Che Ramos is amazing as Hannah, a young Tsinoy (Chinese Filipino) who've just learned that she has a step-brother. In a burst of pure acting brilliance, she handles her character's roller-coaster ride of emotions with ease.

The audience gets a glimpse into the challenges faced by female Tsinoys. How they are treated as inferior to males. A Chinese businessman, despite knowing the answer, asks whether her step-brother is the first born child. He rues the fact that Hannah is the older one and that she doesn't speak Chinese. But, what riles him most is Hannah inherits all of her late father's wealth.

The beauteous young lady director, Relyn Angkuan Tan, dedicated the film to her grandmother and her father. The title Para Kay Ama translates as For Grandmother and, also as, For Father. The director also acknowledged the film's nods to Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria, Ded na si Lolo, Crying Ladies, and the Mano Po series.

Catch the short film at the gala showing of Cinemalaya 2013's Shorts A program on July 30, 2013 at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. You may discover a secret or two during your viewing. Is that really a one-shot, one-cut film?

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