Locus Focus: Take Ninety-Eight
Do I seem to have this blogging thing all together? If so, let me know and make me feel better.
I recently checked the schedule on my Rafflecopter and realised that there's no way the Annual Giveaway can end as soon as tomorrow. Due to my own poor planning at the start of the month, I need another two weeks. =( I'm really sorry about that and want to apologise to everyone who was looking forward to hearing the announcement of the winner on Monday.
At least Locus Focus seems to have been running smoothly. (Right?) We've been farming in Mindoro, praying in Quiapo, and drag racing on C-5. Today, we'll be reconstructing a crime in Makati! There won't be a DVD in the giveaway pool this year, but there's a good reason I'm closing with this movie setting . . .
"Ako pa rin ang nasusunod sa bahay na ito. At ang gusto ko ay dito tumira si Mila. Kung ayaw mong tumira dito, wala akong magagawa."
My translation: "I'm still the head of this house. And I want Mila to live here. If you don't want to live here, there's nothing I can do about that."
It's immediately obvious who the head of the Carandang family is . . . and why no one is happy living in his house on Zapote Street. You don't need to have heard the lurid true story behind Kisapmata to figure out, a few minutes into this big-screen dramatisation, that the family drama isn't going to end well.
My favourite telling scene is from early in the movie: one of the characters, who has just said goodbye to her fiance at the front gate, gets the sleeve of her blouse caught in the barbed wire along the top and has trouble tearing herself away. She has been hoping that marriage will be her ticket out of that house. If only, the gate seems to be taunting her, it were that easy!
Is there a reason, other than voyeurism, for someone to watch a movie about one of the most sensational crimes of the 1960s? A reason, other than the desire to shock and to titillate, for a director to make it? Well, yes. You see, Kisapmata isn't just a story of some really messed up individuals, but a critique of contemporary Philippine culture. The same Filipinos who wonder why two abused women find it so hard to leave their hellhole of a home likely troop to Mass every Sunday and turn a blind eye to any hypocrisy or corruption in the Catholic Church--a peculiarity the movie drives home again and again, pun not intended.
I don't think it's the best parallel, but I can appreciate the point without resorting to butt-hurt apologetics. The crimes of a society can act as a mirror, reflecting not just its acknowledged sins, but also the shadow of its brightest virtues.
Question of the Week: Can you name a famous crime scene from your part of the world?