Brilliante Ma Mendoza’s ‘THY WOMB’ , Easily The Best Film of the Decade!

Nang mapasali na finally sa 38th MMFF ang pelikulang pinagbibidahan ni Superstar Nora Aunor na THY WOMB sa direksyon ng batikang global director na si Brilliante Ma Mendoza marami ang huminga ng malalim. Ito marahil ay dahil napagtanto nilang sa wakas ay isang matinong panoorin ang kanilang matutunghayan sa taunang filmfest.  Mahalaga ang THY WOMB dahil ito ay tumatalakay sa isang maselang tema ng pagiging baog at tumututok sa kultura ng mga kapatid nating Badjao.  Mahalaga rin dahil napakainteresante ang mga kasama ng Superstar na sina Bembol Roco, Lovi Poe at Mercedes Cabral.  Tinatayang hahakot ito ng awards tulad ng Best Picture, Best Story & Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor , Best Supporting Actress at iba pang aspeto ng produksyon. Kaipala’y hindi rin iilan ang nagsasabing ito na yata ang pinakamatinding pelikulang Pilipino nagawa sa dekadang ito.   Marami na ang nag-iipon para sa darating na opening ng MMFF  nitong kapaskuhan at una sa kanilang listahang panoorin ay ang THY WOMB!

Additional Notes on THY WOMB by ART TAPALLA : A story of unconditional love about a Bajau midwife coping with the irony of her own infertility amid the deprivations of her gypsy community in Tawi-Tawi.

A saga of island life stuck between the devil of passion and the deep blue sea of tradition.

So says director Brillante Mendoza:

“I AM making a film about the Bajaus, with the aim to celebrate a nonviolent people amidst a very violent world. It’s an intriguing premise about a particular people of peace living in a place of endemic violence.

One of the most interesting peoples in southern Philippines, the Bajaus are native sea-dwellers that are also found in the neighboring Malaysian and Indonesian archipelagos. They are the so-called Sea Gypsies who are skilled in building various types of boats, and widely known as fishermen, pearl divers and mat weavers.

As a film, THY WOMB examines the opposing natures of two women (Nora Aunor/Shaleha’s sterility against Lovi Poe/Mersila’s fertility) to reflect the prevailing condition in Tawi-tawi, a place endowed with natural beauty and rich resources but mired in economic and socio-political crises. A quiet hell of a paradise, THY WOMB’s “birth place” and its environs are constant reminders of yesterday’s conflict that has remained unresolved up to the present.

The Bajaus are considered to be the most primitive and oppressed among several ethnic groups in the region; and they assume a subordinate status in their diverse and divided community, which includes the Samal and the Tausug, among others. But in spite of this, the Bajaus are generally perceived to be non-confrontational, forgiving, seemingly contented and happy people.

When wronged, it is said that the Bajaus would simply move to another place, bringing their houseboats (lepa-lepa), constantly roving, living in harmony with nature. To this day, they are mostly looked down, degraded and much maligned by their ethnic neighbors and others, thus rendering them harmless, helpless and almost powerless.

But in their heart of hearts, are they really so, or is it just another way of life merely misunderstood by those inured to violence? With this thought and theme, and my curiosity further piqued, the narrative voice of the film has emerged loud and clear.

With intensive research and truthful depiction of certain characters and their circumstances, as articulated in the poignant tale of an aging, childless couple who resolve to find the mother of their much-wanted child, I hope Thy Womb would show a slice of life in the best possible light.”

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