Shot in just five days in the Manila slums, Brilliante Mendoza’s gentle mini-verite smudges documentary into drama like a lived fiction seemingly winched direct from reality. Tracking a day in the life of a Philipino foster family, we find cheery Thelma (Cherry Pie Picache) preparing to give up her three-year-old charge John-John (Kier Segundo) to a rich American couple in the city. Unfolding with a quite incredible naturalism – observing, waiting, watching, often lapsing into yawning real-time stretches of complete stasis – Mendoza’s film delays her painful emotional uncoupling until a final moving pay-off. Little happens, but all of it convinces utterly.
Cast and crew
Cherry Pie Picache