Balikbayan Box

  • 120'
  • Philippines
  • 2007
Mes De Guzman obviously has a talent for telling small, realistic, rural stories. He already demonstrated that with the film The Road to Kalimugtong, which received praise at the San Sebastian festival, a film that shows in an almost documentary way the world of two girls from the hinterland of Luzon, who had to undertake a real survival trek every day to go to school.
De Guzman's latest film is as rural as it is realistic. It focuses on three boys. They are the children of so-called OFWs, Overseas Filipino Workers, the legion of Filipino foreign workers who toil in places such as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Japan and send money and goods back home (in the famous balikbayan boxes), from which whole families often have to live. This means that the children are more or less left to their own devices and roam the country. Sometimes they have a coin for the VHS cinema, but often they don't. They don't always have enough to eat and then they steal some fruit from the local farmers. One of the farmers has hired an armed guard which proves fateful for one of the little heroes.
It is a simple story that has consciously been told simply. The film is made with the people - and the customs and language - of the region where the film maker himself grew up. He knows what he is talking about. He knew what he had to see. (GjZ)


Director
Mes De Guzman
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
Philippines
Production Year
2007
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Length
120'
Medium
DV cam NTSC
Language
Filipino
Producer
Mes De Guzman
Production Company
Sampaybakod Productions
Sales
Sampaybakod Productions
Screenplay
Mes De Guzman
Editor
Mes De Guzman
Production Design
Cyrus Khan
Sound Design
Bob Macabenta
Cast
Renante Huerte, Jason Lozares
Local Distributor
International Film Festival Rotterdam