Magdalena: The Unholy Saint

Magdalena image
Wednesday, 30 April
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium

Directed by Laurice Guillen
Philippines, 2005, 108 minutes
Tagalog with English Subtitles

This more melodramatic Filipino coming-of-age film concerns the budding sexuality of a young girl in a devoutly Catholic culture. We follow young Manila hottie Malen (Angelica Panganiban), who after consorting with the equally hot neighborhood rogue Mike (Jericho Rosales) and worrying her prayer-woman mother literally to death glumly takes over the family business as a “fake saint.” The practice of paying for prayers is nicely contrasted with Mike’s gigolo job, and if periodic daydreams of white light and angel choirs are schmaltzy, other touches transcend, like shots of the city’s thronging Black Nazarene procession, and the ominous reveal of Mike’s full-back cobra tattoo as he slithers onto Malen.

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