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Summer Heat (Kàleldo)

Kaleldo image
Wednesday, 24 February
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium

Philippines, 2006 (135 min)
Filipino w/ English subtitles
Dir: Brillante Mendoza
Cast: Johnny Delgado, Cherry Pie Picache, Angel Aquino, Juliana Palermo, Allan Paule, Criselda Volks, Lauren Novero

Pampanga in Brillante Mendoza’s first full-length feature, Masahista, is parched and metallic in its visual aftertaste, here in Kàleldo, it is magic realistic, the landscape and the elements anchored to the passion and secrets of three women. Set ten years after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which buried the province of Pampanga under lahar, Kàleldo(Summer Heat) follows the lives of sisters Jesusa (Picache), Lourdes (Aquino) and Grace (Palermo) under the watchful eyes of patriarch Mang Rudy (Delgado) who is struggling to revive the family’s woodcarving business. The names of the sisters establish the kind of religiosity that Mang Rudy observes, reflected in the way he demands obedience from his children who are ruled by emotional motivations which the movie reveals through snippets spanning three summers, pinned down by three elements as metaphors: Wind, Fire, Water.

Kàleldo continues Mendoza’s ode to Pampanga and the families struggling within its dying soil. His love for the culture is palpable, the language and the food, the industries and the deeply-rooted cultural tics are framed against wildly vibrant skies, tangible worship at its most picturesque. On the surface, Kàleldo is a beautifully-shot family drama. Mendoza’s storytelling can be confusing at first as he purposely veers away from conventional melodrama, and his visual metaphors have the tendency to distract. But once you get used to the movie’s rhythm, then, just like the change of seasons, you’ll welcome the varying textures and colors of the passing of time.
-Thanks to Thor @

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