Mondo Cane is the legendary and cruel shockumentary by Gualtiero Jacopetti. Khavn sees his own Mondo in Manila. Jacopetti was an outsider; Khavn is a participant. The secret of Khavn is that he shows poverty and injustice in an almost cheerful way, making it even more awkward.
Life in the slums of large Third World cities has been filmed in many different ways, but never before was a musical made about it. Khavn De La Cruz has been involved since 2003 with a unique celebration of the lives of losers in the ghettos of Manila, the Filipino capital. Characters like the teenager Tony D and his depraved friends. There’s Lovely Loanshark, the gambling addict, a slum milker who's always screaming. Sgt. Pepper is a policeman and (to his great dismay) the father of only daughters and a gay son. There’s Steve Banners, the old white pederast, and Ogo X, the misformed rapper. Mondomanila got support from HBF a long time ago and was finally made with mainly private money. The film shows a colourful, occasionally almost glamorous but also violent, rancid and perverse society in the gutter, in flashy, fast-cut scenes, with absurd dialogues and bizarre events. Khavn shakes up film styles to his heart's content: exuberant video clips, grubby film noir, hyper-realistic documentary and even slapstick - linked by an original story and rousing music.