Far East Film Festival 20

Udine Italy April 20th/ April 28th 2018
The Film Festival For Popular Asian Cinema
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
Saturday, April 22, time 9.00 AM

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Mercury Is Mine

Even though many treasure-seeking tourists pass by her kapampangan (Pampanga style) eatery at the foot of Mount Arayat, Carmen barely attracts customers. She is about to close down the eatery permanently when a mysterious white blond American teenager named Mercury suddenly appears in the middle of the night, begging for work as a wait­er in exchange of nothing but temporary shelter. Carmen is hesitant at first, but when more customers begin to patronize again her eatery due to the unexpected presence of a blond, fair-skinned, blue eyed waiter, she regains hope, and decides to continue her business.
To make Mercury more useful, Carmen spends the following days teaching him how to cook dishes in kapampangan style. The time comes when people begin to offer Mercury bigger opportunities. However, Carmen fends them all off. Determined to keep Mer­cury all to herself, in her own funny way, with a reference to the movie Blue Lagoon, she takes care of him, and spoils him like her own son...or lover. She finds the perfect opportunity to prevent Mercury from leaving her when she finally discovers his dark past, and the reason why he has sheltered here. Their relationship is changing again to another level...
Through the medium of satirical comedy, Jason Paul Laxamana addresses the everlasting problem of the relationship between local Filipino and the ‘White Caucasian’, still seen as ‘superior’ in many fields. As the director says in his own statement about the film: “Aside from seeking to address the almost-racist objectification of Caucasians in Asia, Mercury Is Mine examines the concept of white supremacy in a developing nation such as the Philippines. By simply being in the presence of Filipinos, the titular character, Mercury, learns the supremacy of his skin color. The film thus poses the question: who perpetuates the racial superiority of white people in the Philippines? Is it the former colonizers (Spanish and Americans), or the Filipinos themselves?” Good question... yet to be answered.
J.P. Laxamana spearheads the annual Kapampangan short film competition in Central Luzon, the Cinekabalen Kapampangan Film Festival, to encourage and promote local films in Angeles and Pampanga province. He is currently one of the most talented, versatile, and prolific directors of the young indie generation in the Philippines (he has made four films in 2016!), with a quite personal vision of modern Filipino society and its evolving aspects and challenges.
Max Tessier
Film director: 
Jason Paul Laxamana
Year: 
2016
Running time: 
97

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