LAAPFF 2020 Basurero is Cabiling’s answer to Sicario!

14 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to viewers in Southern California (excluding San Diego County) from Oc 1, 2020 at 12pm PT to Oct 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. Click here to watch the film on Eventive.

The Philippine word Basurero translates to ‘Dump,’ and Filipina-American filmmaker Eileen Cabiling‘s short takes this title and explores the meaning in context of the problems that still occur in her native country. Although her work is fiction, the real-world connections are heavy since it’s more than just another short film about feeling trapped. It’s a character study on Bong (Jericho Rosales), a fisherman in Manila struggling to make ends meet. He’s like a cat on a hot tin roof.

He can’t always help pay for the expensive medications his family needs. Before he knows it, he’s involved with gangs; they feed his pockets as long as he does what he’s told and doesn’t ask questions. But over time, his feelings of guilt, excellently played by Rosales, are manifesting and he wants a way out.

This short film is an effective thriller where even I have goosebumps. I hate to be in Bong’s shoes. When this character knows what happened to a missing husband of a neighbour next door, you can’t help but feel emphatic or wonder what’s going on through his head. The story has the potential to be expanded upon. I can see it deliver just as well as Denis Villeneuve‘s crime drama Sicario. Life is precious, and it’s unsettling to know that sometimes, having control is just not possible.

4 Stars out of 5

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