Much like Set A, the Competition Shorts Set B of the Cinemalaya 2020 boasts of wonderful cinematography, diverse stories, and diverse representation of its characters. In this set, there are more comedies and whimsical musings about love and humanity, and it is balanced out by a chilling documentary and a realistic depiction of the challenges faced by the fishing communities in the Visayas.
Cinemalaya 2020: Main Competition Shorts – Set A Film Reviews
Cinemalaya 2020 Online: 10 Films to Stream in August
Cinemalaya 2020: Everything You’ll Feel in Two and a Half Hours of Short Films
Cinemalaya 2020: Free Films & Events You Can Watch at Home
Main Competition Shorts: Set B
All Cinemalaya 2020 competition shorts are available to stream online via Vimeo until August 16, 2020. Access on up to five films are priced P75 while full access to the Cinemalaya festival, including all films and other features, is priced P350. Get your tickets here. Visit www.cinemalaya.org for more information.
1. Ang Pagkalma sa Unos
Written and directed by Joanna Vasquez Arong
The documentary ‘Ang Pagkalma sa Unos’ by Joanna Vasquez Arong puts its focus on the effect of Typhoon Yolanda, especially on the devastation it had wrought upon Tacloban.
The visual sequencing of this documentary is exquisite in how it truly captures the desolation and despair that pervaded the broken city after the storm surge. Beautiful black and white cinematography mixed with gorgeous black and white photos and illustrations by children help represent the chilling aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda and the havoc it had caused.
And while the visual representation of this documentary is strong, there’s a disconnect with certain portions of the narration. With the beautiful lyrical language of the Visayan language (it sounds like Hiligaynon to me, but I’m not sure), the narration seems to take the persona of a young girl, like a child, and it works wonders when she narrates the stories she hears from other people and the ghost stories she was told about the events after the surge.
But the beginning part, when she talks about the failed government action to warn the people, and later on, when she talks about the government’s failure to respond appropriately — the language doesn’t seem to fit the persona and the narrative flow is lost a little. It would have been stronger if the persona of a child is kept intact throughout the entire documentary and either adjust the script to fit the character or bring it another voice that better suits the script for those parts.
It’s a strong documentary but it needs a tighter weaving in of its narrative elements. How it shifts from the political to the personal has to be better navigated but overall, it’s quite strong.