Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Two films from far away countries

Sometimes it can be hard to make up your mind.  One movie description seems enticing and while waiting another seems a suitable time filler.  However often enough they are a good pair.  

Netflix isn't the only streaming service I use, but they are pretty good at digging up foreign films that have some meaning for me.  Both these films are sad and tell of human failings.

"Doll House" (2022) is a Filipino movie, but set in Rotterdam, Netherlands and has mostly English dialogue.  A father who had led a bad life, abandoning his wife and child, doing drugs finds his daughter under false pretenses.  He soon is uncovered, but not before he bonds with his daughter.  She thinks he just needs to say he is sorry.  Sad but realistic.

Here are a few contributors.

Marla Ancheta was the director.  She has 6 directing credits and 2 as actress and 2 for writing.

Rona Lean Sales was a key writer.  She has 66 writing credits, 5 for Script and Continuity Department and 4 for editing.

Baron Geisler mirrors that lead character, Rustin he plays.  He was an award winner, but became alcoholic and was involved in sexual assault cases.  He won an award for this film  and contributed to the soundtrack.  He has 85 acting credits.

Althea Ruedas plays the endearing daughter, Yumi who sings off key.  She already has 9 acting credits. 

Phi Palmos plays the gay caretaker.  He has 28 acting credits.

Ricardo Cepeda played Rustin's concerned father who did support.  He has 134 acting credits. 

Moving a little to the west, Malaysia has got festival award attention with a recent film.

"Abang Adik" (2023) is about illegal immigrants trying to fit in  in Malaysia.  Two brothers with the older and more mature one is deaf. They do fight among themselves and they have some outside support.

We in North America are very conscious that illegal immigration is a big concern and are vaguely aware that Europe has a similar problem with Arabs and Africans.  Malaysia would not seem to suffer, but there are plenty of people who see it as a solution to their concerns. Racism is a vicious twist that hurts us all.  With climate change and the prevalence of dictators we can expect more. 

It appears to be a cast and crew combining Taiwanese and Malaysian talent.   Languages include Cantonese, Mandarin,  Malaysian and sign language.  Below are some of the talent responsible.

Lay Jin Ong, director and writer.  He is Malaysian, but has been involved with the Chinese Music Committee.  He has only this one film for directing and writing credits, however also has 3 credits for producing.

Angelica Lee is an executive producer.  She is noted as a singer in Taiwan and Hong Kong.  She speaks 5 languages; Mandarin, Hokkien, Malaysian Cantonese and English.  She has 27 credits for acting 1 for directing and another 1 for writing including "The Thieves" (2012), a Korean film.

Kang Ren Wu plays Abang, the deaf mute, but the one more in charge.  He has 61 acting credits.

Jack Tan plays Adik.  He has 15 acting credits and one for a soundtrack.

Kim Wang Tan plays Ms. Money, a mother like figure in her first film role. 

Kartik Vijay was the cinematographer.  He has 20 cinematography credits and 6 for Camera and Electrical Department plus for additional crew including "Kaminey" (2011), "Manto" (2018),  "The Sky is Pink" my top film for 2019, and "Yeh Ballet? (2020).  See  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2019/12/the-sky-is-pink-my-top-movie-for-2019.html

Two very interesting films from Asia, both available on Netflix. They are both sad, so be prepared.

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