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T500FC, 451st: If I Knew What You Said [Dinig Sana Kita] (Mike Sandejas, 2009)

March.10.2011

The best thing about the cinema is everything can be heard even if the majority of the scenes in the movie only contain a lot of muted parts. One thing that Dinig Sana Kita provided is it screamed its heart out to the viewers, telling the story, their story to the viewers, which was really successful. A sort of musical in its own right, it was definitely a movie, especially for me.

The film stars Zoe Sandejas as the troubled teen who is currently having her “rebellious” stage in her life. With her on the brink of expulsion in her school, one kind man who knows the principal informed Sandejas’ mom that one of the solutions to avoid being kicked out from school is to join an immersion with a group of deaf teens. She regretfully accepts the challenge and experience something different in her life. At first, of course, it was kind of off for her and eventually everything fell onto the right places, well except for her personal life in which she is has to face when she gets home.

I love this film. I know this is really subjective for me but I really, really love this film. It hit the right spot and all of my sensitive places. I know my real reason on why I love this film is kind of shallow. I don’t care. I guess all of us are entitled to love a film in its entirety even if we found the film above par objectively.

I have to say that the film is impressive. I mean, I rarely see a brave film that gives focus to the deaf. If you’re going to give the gist of this to an ordinary viewer, one thing that they’d ask is, “Why would I watch something the shows a lot of deaf people? What are we watching, a modern black and white movie?” But in their lies the beauty of the film, Mike Sandejas, the director, effectively used the non-talking characters to the voiced one. Of course, Zoe’s love-interest is a feat, telling the viewers, post-script, that in real life the guy is deaf; a deaf who knows how to act and to dance. Yes, in it is a feat in that way.

As far as I know that Zoe Sandejas has the “it factor” and I am happy that she is not doing mainstream work. This girl knows how to sing and it is easy for her to identify her character in the film, it fits just right for her. The film also encompasses a good set of deaf cast. I know it is a feat on its own and I applaud the film for giving these guys the voice that mainstream wouldn’t bother to take a chance with.

Now, here is the real reason on why this one made it to the top of my list. Close friends who know me, know that Sugarfree is a band that I love, alongside with the Eraserheads. Recently, they bade farewell to us, the fans, because they were breaking up. I initially thought, since a cinephile friend informed me to wait for the Sugarfree song, that the band’s song was just featured in a certain scene. Lo and behold, I was surprised to see them in a scene that I didn’t expect. I cried my hearts out as I still vividly remember that scene much more to the song they used in the film. It really enveloped me.

I know the producers aren’t keen on producing a DVD version of this movie. It is kind of sad if the news is true. Fortunate for us, they are still active in showing the film in some places in the Manila. In case for an easy viewing for me, I’ll definitely catch this film again.

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