Adela is a former radio star who lives in dignified poverty. She would like to celebrate her 80th birthday with her children. She's also played by the fragile old actress Anita Linda. A warm homage to cinema itself too. Watch it and understand why Filipino cinema is now hot.
It's almost a genre in itself: a sensitive ageing woman tries to maintain her dignity in a Filipino slum district. The power of every genre film is dependent on the question of whether the story is worked out with craft and creativity. And that is certainly the case here. Of course, Adela is not really a genre film. It's a film with a personal and sensitive story - the story of an old disappointed woman, but also the story of a special and fragile actress. The film revolves around the actress Anita Linda and the character she plays, the Adela from the title. Adela was once a well-known radio personality, but now she's turning 80, lives in poverty and her children tend to forget about her. Anita Linda herself has been a famous actress in Filipino cinema since the 1940s, and famous actresses can also be forgotten when they approach eighty. In reality she has passed eighty but who would want to underline that?
Adela may live in poverty and anonymity, but she has maintained great dignity and with her wisdom and self-sufficiency has an important role within her social surroundings. The film follows her with suppleness and determination, in the knowledge that this fragile and charismatic woman can carry the film. She does so with ease, I should point out. (GjZ)