Kalaw (2014)

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Past is a dark place to visit but present often have its way of revisiting it.

In Immy Rempis’ short film Kalaw, she shares a slice of sexual awakening and forgiveness in a story that tiptoes on the present and the past continuously and the result is a disturbing piece condensed in 16 minutes.

Shot in the visually arresting Puerto Galera, the film shows the homecoming of Monik (Japo Parcero). Meeting her is a childhood friend, Bagyo (Alchris Galura). Together, they reminisce their childhood days in the river called Kalaw and inasmuch as they want to remember only the good parts, the bad parts came haunting them as well.

Kalaw thrives with a cohesive screenplay and beautiful cinematography. Rempis balances style and substance effectively; the details are mostly subtle, symbolical, and haunting. The part where the characters burst into laughter then started crying right after is one of the film’s highlights. The pain evoked by Monik, particularly in this scene, easily translates to a sense of uneasiness — it’s as if a friend confessed a secret she’s been carrying for years.

By the end of it, Kalaw shows how and why forgiveness is not as easy at it seems. Regrets have a way of drowning you and it’s only up to you to decide on how to live with it.

Also, it would be interesting to see more of Rempis’ works in the future.

Rating: 9/10

Kalaw is a part of the films showcased in the New Wave category, together with Gymsnatch and Magkakabaung.

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