Alipato: The Very Brief Life of an Ember
In 2025, a gang of kids – aged between five and fifteen – terrorise the slums of Manila. They have nicknames like Pork Chop, Bull Dog, Snowman, McAbnormal and J. Blo. When this notorious thieving and murdering Kotka gang decides to rob a bank, things go wrong and the leader ends up in jail. When he is released in 2053, the big question is where the booty is. After which this unconventional crime film turns into an equally unconventional whodunnit: Who is the serial killer systematically killing all the gang members?
In his characteristically whirlwind style, Khavn uses slo-mo and high-speed images, plenty of wide-angle shots, animation (including stop-motion) and an idiosyncratic mix of humour and grotesque violence. Meanwhile, he evokes an alarming picture of 'Mondomanila', where children grow up among the refuse dumps without any sense of morals and a smoking toddler with a pistol in his hand is not an unusual sight.