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<p>Engage the enemy</p>
| Dec 10, 2009
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Young director Pepe Diokno’s film “Engkwentro” brings to us the existing yet concealed reality of what it’s like to be hungry for food and power. [firstpara] The entire film essentially gives it to us in a nutshell; it doesn’t even attempt to sugarcoat the innermost core of poverty not only in Manila, but in any city of any town living under bad governance and drugs.

“Engkwentro” stars Felix Roco and Daniel Medrana as brothers Richard and Raymond, both of whom are opposing members of their respective gangs Bagong Buwan and Batang Dilim. The two get entangled in a series of mishaps as they attempt to survive the harsh reality of poverty. Add in a very, very believable performance by Celso Ad Castillo as the town mayor and the film looks as candid and outspoken as it can be.

Pepe Diokno creates a documentary-type of film with a narrative feel to it. Majority of the scenes are done in one ridiculously long take, which is actually a good thing. The film lets us take a glimpse at everything that’s ever going on all at the same time.

On another note, you will enter the cinema expecting gang wars and confrontations, but as the film progresses you will be exposed to so much more. The events looked so real that for a second there you’re not just an audience, but an actual witness.

“Engkwentro” doesn’t require the audience to like everything about it, but the film highly encourages us to consider what it has to say. That alone is reason enough for filmgoers to rejoice.

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For our invertiew with Pepe Diokno, click here.


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