Monday, July 23, 2007
Director: Auraeus Solito
Remember when you first saw Bagets? Or Joey Gosiengfiao's Blue Jeans or the 1986 Regal movie The Graduates, even Joey Reyes' Pare Ko? Remember how you felt when you listened to the Eraserheads' first three albums for the tenth time, when you knew you've stumbled upon something very vital, very contemporary and familiar yet it took you to a new place entirely? That's how it felt watching Pisay, the new Auraeus Solito movie. Something tells me we have a new classic in the making, that a few years from now, people will be reaching for their copy of this movie the way they reach for Circus or Cutterpillow every now and then. Pisay tells the story of the Philippine Science High School's Batch '86, from their freshman year up to graduation, the difficult lessons they had to learn on their way, and their personal, social, and political awakening. What struck me most about the movie is its authenticity -- the situations, the dialogues (a screenwriting tour de force), most especially the acting. When the characters, especially the kids, mouth arguments about science and politics, you just know it's coming from them, not fed by somebody off-camera. You just believe that the characters belong in Pisay, and in extension, UP (I could imagine them arguing in AS Lobby during a sit-in). Everything flows naturally, nothing contrived or pretentious. The attention to detail and verisimilitude is astounding (the Pisay alumnae in the audience certainly got a kick out of watching it).
Most importantly, Pisay is another reminder to all Iskolars ng Bayan that, having been privileged to be plucked to be schooled with the best, with money from the nation's hard-earned cash, we are expected to excel and to step out of ourselves when necessary to fight for what we believe in and for the common good.
I think Pisay is a classic. A more accomplished work than Solito's own Maximo Oliveros, it is a prime candidate for the distinction of being the best Filipino film of this decade.