MANILA, Philippines – Cinemalaya film entry Nuwebe deals with the ugly sins of society – rape and incest, and a child’s journey to transcend her trauma.
G Tongi reports.
G TONGI, REPORTING: I’m here at the CCP for the gala screening of the film Nuwebe, directed and written by Joseph Laban, an entry to the New Breed Category for Cinemalaya 2013.
Inspired by a true story of rape and incest, Cinemalaya film entry Nuwebe is about the life of the youngest mother recorded in Philippine history.
Krista at the age of 9 got pregnant from the sexual abuse by her own father.
Director Joseph Laban first wrote this story as a TV news documentary entitled “Ang Pinakabata” or “The Youngest”.
JOSEPH LABAN, DIRECTOR, NUEBE: May mga eksena doon na hindi mo mapapakita or mabibigyan ng justice through documentary lang. With films kasi, may freedom ka talaga to express yung mga kwento na gusto mong ipalabas. (There are scenes that a documentary will not do justice to. With films, you have the freedom to show what you want.)
Actress Nadine Samonte found the sexual content challenging.
NADINE SAMONTE, ACTRESS: Actually it’s scary. So sa part ko, ginawa ko yon its because para ipakita sa tao na hindi lang eto yung mga nakikita natin ngayon, eto yung nangyayari talaga. (I did the film because I wanted to show that some things go beyond what we see– this is the reality.)
Films like Nuwebe are called independent films or “indies” because these are produced without major studio backing.
Nuwebe actor Manny Castaneda says venues like Cinemalaya play a key role in the development of Philippine cinema.
MANNY CASTAÑEDA, ACTOR, NUWEBE: And I think Cinemalaya is doing the right thing by keep on yearly coming up with this, the regular producers will not dare touch. ‘Pag inuulit mo ng inuulit yan they will eventually develop the taste for such kind of films. (If you do it often enough, the audience will develop the taste for these kinds of films.)
Women’s health advocate May-I Fabros says films that delve into sensitive issues such as rape, incest and child pregnancy make the audience think.
MAY-I FABROS, BATANG INA/ WOMAN HEALTH ADVOCATE: It just screams at us, it stares us straight in the face that this is happening and it’s happening very close to us. The society that we are shaping right now of nine year olds getting pregnant, and is this normal? Is this the new normal?
Acclaimed writer and director Joey Reyes is hopeful a new generation of filmmakers will continue to tackle socially relevant material.
JOEY REYES, WRITER/ DIRECTOR: I get a greater joy finding the new voices, seeing the works of all these young directors. I like to take that step back and to watch, and be an active part of watching the growth, the real growth of Philippine cinema.
There is a movement in Philippine cinema that Cinemalaya continues to fuel.
Reyes says, in Cinemalaya, “You watch films and not just movies.”
G Tongi, Rappler, Manila.