Ageing Filipino midwife Shaleha has not been able to give her husband a child, so she goes on a mission to find him a new, fertile wife. When they stumble across a nubile young beauty whose dowry they can afford, he looks fantastically pleased. Shaleha, though, is distraught: she is a simple, kind woman whose love for her husband is giving and unselfish, and Nora Aunor’s restrained performance is heart-rending. A constant, underlying tension between the armed forces of the Philippines and the Islamic community is briefly alluded to, adding a further layer of unease.
But ‘Thy Womb’ isn’t just emotionally harrowing: within minutes we’re presented with a birth in graphic, unflinching detail, while a cow’s throat is later sliced open with a cleaver. Both scenes look suspiciously realistic. The spectacular landscapes provide a soothing counterpoint: the watery expanses and houses on stilts resemble a vast, sultry Venice. Director Brillante Mendoza divided Cannes audiences in 2009 with the stylish but violent ‘Kinatay’, but ‘Thy Womb’ combines his eye for bizarre detail and inventive camera angles with an unassuming yet poignant story.
Cast and crew
Average User Rating
5 / 5
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The movie captured the everyday life of the Badjao people in the remote island of Tawi-Tawi Philippines. The performance of the actors and the actresses especially the lead actress are so natural the movie looks like a documentary.
The simplicity and soulful performance of Nora Aunor makes Thy Womb a film to watch. As they say less is powerful.
The exotic beauty of Tawi-Tawi island and the film shows how the Badjao lives and the culture is very colorful.