WELCOME BREATHER: Time and again, we have noted in this space the sheer number of romantic comedy films flooding our screens these days.
It seems with this steady flow of similarly-themed and titled films, Philippine cinema is good for nothing but. Week in and week out, our cinemas open mostly 2-character rom-coms, love stories that are almost always sad and depressing. Filmmakers claim these stories are reflective of the times our young people live in today.
On the budgetary aspect, a director tells me 2-character rom-coms are easier to do as they are less expensive, too. Is the industry destined for nothing but?
Not altogether true, it turns out.
‘QUEZON’S GAME:’ Last week, we found “Quezon’s Game” a good, refreshing break from the rampage of 2-character rom-coms in theaters these days.
The film, by Matthew Rosen, chronicles President Manuel Quezon’s heroic act of saving 1,200 European Jews between 1938 and 1941 from certain death in the hands of Nazis.
While many countries turned a deaf ear on Jews’ cry for help as they were being persecuted in their homeland, Quezon opted for a radical, humanitarian move. He accepted the Jews against the will of the US government as we were still under the Commonwealth era.
The Jews that arrived in Manila came mostly from Germany and Austria.
How wonderful that a film capturing this otherwise unknown episode in our nationhood has been made. It makes us proud to be Filipino. It makes us remember that we are a people of nobility, bravery, and compassion.
Congratulations, Raymond Bagatsing, for a moving performance as Manuel Quezon. The same goes to Rachel Alejandro as his First Lady, Aurora, and the other actors who have created a bonded ensemble cast.
“Quezon’s Game” is still showing. Catch it to regain pride as a Filipino and be inspired to be the best that you can be.
‘SUNSHINE FAMILY:’ Two other films showing one after the other catch our attention this early.
“Sunshine Family” (Spring Films) is a light romantic drama adapted from the 1992 Japanese film “Hikinige Family.” It tells about a family whose plan to return to the Philippines is marred by the father’s involvement in a hit-and-run incident.
Nonie Bencamino and Shamaine Buencamino play that couple, parents to Sue Ramirez and Marco Masa.
The film, now in theaters, is a Filipino-Korean co-production between Spring Films and Film Line.
It is directed by award-winning Korean director Kim Tai-Sik, whose works include “Driving with My Wife’s Lover” (2006) and “Heartbreak Hotel” (2015).
Park Ji Won, aka Shinwoo of Blac7, is cast as Sue’s leading man.
Spring Films, now on its 10th year, is known for its innovative productions such as “Kimmy Dora” (the series), “Kita Kita,” and “Meet Me in St. Gallen.”