Slingshot to reality

Filipino director Brillante Mendoza hopes people who come to watch his movie during DIFF will walk away with more than just a few memories

By Zoe Sinclair (Staff Reporter)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Thu 13 Dec 2007, 11:53 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:55 PM

WEAVING HIS story against the backdrop of an election and an extremely religious period in the Philippines and enacted by professional actors as well as ordinary people, Brillante Mendoza has created his film Tirador (Slingshot) to acclaimed effect.

At Dubai International Film Festival this week the Filipino director spoke about the role of Filipino films.

“I’m not just talking about the Philippines, I’m talking about politics and religion,” Mendoza said.

He has already spoken to and received reactions from the Filipinos, who make up a large portion of the expatriate population, in Dubai during his visit.

“It shows them what is happening in the Philipines. One guy I spoke to hadn’t returned home for nearly three years," Mendoza commented.

It was Mendoza’s first visit to the UAE and the film festival.

Tirador tells the stories of a community’s residents: an orphan whose father is killed in front of him (Jiro Manio); a ‘jammer’ (Nathan Lopez), or petty thief, brutalised by a tough cop after robbing a schoolkid; an advertising sidecar driver (Coco Martin).

The characters are then caught up the struggle of life, crime, religion and corruption.

Mendoza doubted whether his film would ever be shown in Filipino cinemas.

He said he was more likely to find an audience amongst students and the arts community, where screening was also easier and involved less control.

“Not so many Filipinos will watch it — they are more used to mainstream movies,” he said.

But he hoped that those who did would leave with something to mull over. "Not while they’re watching it and enjoying it — while they’re leaving. When they’re at home in bed, I want them to think about it. It is more powerful this way.”

More news from