Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ILO ILO MOVIE CANNES 2013: Tribute to an Ilongga nanny

The invitation-only Cannes International Film Festival is annually held in Palais des Festivals et des Congres in Cannes, France. It previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, worldwide and was founded in 1946 and is one of the most prestigious and publicized film festival in the world. This year, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival is set from May 15 to May 26, 2013.

The Director's Fortnight section (Quinzaine des Realisateur's) is an independent section of the Canne's Festival and held parallel to it. It was started in 1969 after the cancellation of Canne's Festival May 1968 as an act of solidarity among striking workers. It also showcases a programme of shorts, feature films, and documentaries worldwide.

One of the films included in the Director's Fortnight is Ilo Ilo, a film by Singaporean director Anthony Chen. It is his first film and thus eligible for Camera d'Or award (Golden Camera, an award for the best first feature film). Director Chen, whose short films have competed in Berlin, said that the movie is a tribute to the Ilongga nanny who raised him. 

The Filipino nanny is being played by theater and indie film actress Angeli Bayani (click here to read more about her).

Below is the synopsis of the film. Click here to view the official film trailer.

Set in the mid 1990s in Singapore, Iloilo chronicles the relationship between three young brothers (WEIJIE, 10; WEIMING, 8 and WEICONG, 6) and their maid from Iloilo, a province in Philippines.
The three children of working parents, TECK and HWEE still seem unable to take care of themselves or one another while the couple is at work and so the mother hires a maid. The arrival of TERESA, the new Filipino maid presents a new situation for the family as the brothers try to adapt to the presence of a stranger at home, a challenge particularly for the youngest WEICONG who shares a room with her. 
Having gotten used to AUNTIE TERRY (as they call her), the often demanding and spoilt kids overwhelm their maid with errands and chores, relying on her to do the simplest of tasks. The dynamics of this relationship changes when TERESA asserts parental control to discipline the mischievous children. She has gone from stranger to servant and now surrogate mother and friend – one who dotes and cares, yet disciplines and educates. This leads to subtle jealousy from HWEE and an increased tension between the two maternal figures.  

The unique bond between the foreign maid and the children continue to develop and soon she has become an unspoken part of the family, until financial circumstances resulting from the recession in 1997 mean that the family can no longer afford her. The children struggle to come to terms with the decision but eventually are forced to deal with AUNTIE TERRY’s departure. They will never see her again.

Visit the movie's official Facebook page for more updates.

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