Since yesterday was Philippine Independence Day, the French Film Festival committee also screened a couple of Filipino films – Imbisibol and Manang Biring. I was not able to watch Imbisibol because I had to be somewhere else, but I made sure I’d be able to catch Manang Biring as I did not see it during the Cinema One Originals film festival last year.
Manang Biring is a story about a cancer stricken elderly woman who earns a living selling herbal medicines in Quiapo, Manila.
In case you are wondering why the movie poster looks like that – it is an animated movie; but it won the best picture in last year’s Cinema One Originals. I did not watch it because I didn’t think it was nice – given that the animation looked unpolished, like a grade school drawing to be honest.
But I guess, it was that difference that propelled it to the judges’ critical eyes. That – and the impeccable performance by the movie’s actors (which includes one of my all time favorite character actresses – Mailes Kanapi).
Back to the story, Manang Biring is sick of cancer and has already accepted the fact that she’s about to die – matter of fact, she won’t make it till Christmas (and it’s just March of that year). Until she gets news that her estranged daughter will be coming home in December, to reconcile with her.
Biring, then, gets a reason to fight for her life. With the help of her friends, she tries different jobs to earn money to finance her medication. But her failing health made her decide to hire a “double” to pretend to be her during Christmas and welcome her daughter home. What happens after? You’ve got to see it to find out.
It’s funny, but still touches the heart of the audience. It does deserve the best picture, and I’m giving it
Encore Heureux is a story about a french family affected by the recession, left with almost nothing to fend for themselves.
The father goes as far as scavenging for goods to sell on Ebay, the mother almost abandons her husband for a guy who can provide more.
The daughter is rehearsing for an audition in a music school, through the help of an old neighbor. The old neighbor suddenly dies of heart attack on the girl’s watch, and she sees this as an opportunity to help her family’s finances.
Things go crazy when the nosy concierge of the building they were in suspects that something fishy was going on; and eventually the parents find out about the death of the old neighbor, and they were all faced with the task of choosing between right or wrong.
It is another great movie, and you’ll also be in a roller coaster of emotions; you’d end up asking yourself it they were doing the right thing or not. Was it a happy ending? It’s for me to know and for you to find out.
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