Friday, October 17, 2014

K'na The Dreamweaver (Ida Anita del Mundo, Cinemalaya 2014)

'Mara Lopez does a new trick in this film,' says my brother-in-law. I racked up my brains trying to find something new in Mara's performance. My brother-in-law relents and says that Mara kept her clothes on throughout the film. Ah, yes, I remember those enchanting clothes.

The intricately designed t'nalak attires stole the thunder from the actors. The bloody red color of the woven fabrics complement the verdant surroundings of the lake-side community. The striking costume patterns are products of dreams by the predecessors of K'na (Mara Lopez). The young lady is the latest one given the responsibility of manufacturing designs.
She is a dreamweaver and a peacemaker, too. She makes a huge sacrifice in order to bind two tribes together once more.

K'na The Dreamweaver is a lavish visual feast of colorful traditional costumes and picturesque settings in South Cotabato. It is a grand showcase of the culture and way of life of the T'boli people. There is music in the air as maidens walk by because of jangling brass bells on their waists. The whole village was constructed the traditional way. There was nary a nail used in building the huts.

A beautiful, symbolic scene shows a heartbroken K'na riding a boat towards the village of the Northern tribe. The chasm has been breached by her flood of tears. There's another scene of K'na seemingly submerged from her overflowing tears as her lover looks on.

The stories of star-crossed lovers and warring tribes are staples of local adventure films. The film K'na needs to have a unique image or plot line that will make it doubly memorable or even better, into the annals of Cinemalaya greats. As the film nears the end, I was betting on the lover's show of affection for K'na. He faithfully ties red yarns on tree branches to show her love for the lady.

I was expecting a dazzling display of fiery strands hanging from trees at the end of the film. Years have passed since K'na went home. The excited audience hold their breath as a wide-eyed K'na scans the trees. Then, the camera cuts to the trees.

Ehrrr, is that it? It was a big letdown. The red streaks barely made an impact. Oh well, I still have those clothes and the grandeur of Lake Sebu to remember.

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