Tirador.2007.Brillante Mendoza


Brillante Mendoza, the director, stated last year that he wanted to make movies based on real life stories that depict the Philippines. It is actually true in all aspects as I am starting to get that certain respect for him. I know that he is doing this all for the sake of art and the cinema and not just for your usual, how much would I get from this film? And with this film, the Mendoza trademark is still there, nationalistic without the film looking cheap.

If you lived inside a cave for so long, you might want to consider watching any of Mendoza’s films. You see, aside from Serbis and Kinatay gaining international awards, this film had its own share of wins. From our local Gawad Urian Awards to the Caligari Film Award in the Berlin International Film Festival and the Silver Screen Award in the Singapore International Film Festival. The sad thing, of course, is still the usual we-don’t-really-show-this-film-in-our-local-cinema-as-it-is-morally-wrong. Well, that’s our local cinema folks; our country can’t even watch our own films.

What is entertaining for this film, this time, is that it was portrayed in a documentary sort of way without showing that this is actually a documentary since almost everything is acted out. There are snip shots of real footage such as our local Palm Sunday and a religious gathering with the El Shaddai people having political guests at the side.

It feels that Mendoza is relying on shock films from the past three years. I am not actually complaining as if you’ve actually seen any of his recent films, you wouldn’t be much surprised if you’ve seen this. An example of this is a couple copulating and then a barangay-wide search was needed and the guy needs to show up or the police might find him guilty of a crime. He goes out and his other woman catches him and then his two women fights over him and him wearing close to underwear.

It wasn’t really an eye opener for me since I know those grim stories in slums. Despite me almost living in a good life; a lot of slices of life were also portrayed in the film. Yes, they are morally wrong but how can you blame these people if you know that they need to eat or else. The film gives us a taste of survival in an urban poor area.

To give you another example on what I am trying to point, a woman’s false teeth falls on the sewage and she cried hard while looking for her item. When she was crying, she was telling that she did “everything” just to get that. And it was one of those times when you didn’t know if you’re going to say that she deserves it or if you’ll sympathize for the character.

I’m just glad that Mendoza keeps on creating these films. I haven’t watched Kinatay yet and I am looking forward for more Filipino shock films in the future.



  1. my favorite mendoza film. Along with Manoro and Foster Child.

  2. Aprub!

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