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  • International Premiere


Tanabata's Wife

Director: Choy PANGILINAN, Charlson ONG, Lito CASAJE

2018|Philippines|81min|Language: Japanese, Filipino|Subtitles: English, Japanese

Date Time Venue Guest
3/13 (Wed) 18:40 Cine Libre Umeda 4    
3/16 (Sat) 12:30 Cine Libre Umeda 4
Tanabata's Wife
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Tanabata is one of a number of Japanese immigrant farmers in La Trinidad Valley in Benguet. It is some time before the war and Americans are busy colonising the Philippines but life is quiet for the middle-aged and lonely man who some describe as being as lively as a corpse. With two loyal friends, Tanabata often stares out at his cabbage fields and drinks sake as he drowns in his melancholy. Then, one day, a young and feisty Bontoc woman named Fas-ang appears like a ray of sunshine.

Fas-ang descends from the mountains with two friends on her way to find work in the big city but an offer from Tanabata convinces her to stay with him and become a farmhand. As the seasons pass and the two get closer, they fall in love and start a family. However, much like farming, love has its seasons as age and cultural differences come between Tanabata and Fasang who is attracted to the city lights of Baguio and still attached to a young man from her village. Will their love weather the various storms?

Director’s Message/Statement
Films should always be a space for dialogue and engagement. This vision has always been the backbone of our aesthetic and philosophical position as artists. The collective love and respect for our history and literature, Cordilleran culture, and the art of independent filmmaking, gave birth to this endeavor and saw it to fruition. Driven by our strong aspirations to deliver a creation worthy of translating Sinai Hamada's esteemed short story “Tanabata's Wife” into film language, the copious challenges we faced throughout the production of this film did neither derail us from our goals nor dampen our spirits to push forward and this without sacrificing our vision of the art. We drew great creative inspiration from our commonly revered visionaries of the storytelling and cinematic craft, Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa. Through the proven mettle of our cinematographer Nap Jamir, the fresh technical ingenuity of our colorist BJ Mirasol, the compelling drama spun by our new actors Mai Fanglayan, Kurt Alalag, and Miyuki Kamimura, the mellifluous musical score from May-i Padilla, Kurt Alalag, and Marc Tan, the indispensable guidance into Bontoc language and culture by John Sagamla, and Japanese language and culture by Jina Umali, we ultimately witnessed how our disadvantaged location, measly production set, havocked by the ceaseless torrential downpour, are phenomenally transformed into an arresting and classical course of shots and sequences. We are pleased to have been given the opportunity to showcase a slice of Bontoc and Japanese sentience into the big screen, recognizing an independent production borne out of the collaborative efforts of a few impassioned individuals, who toiled unabatedly for the love of art and film. For the love of the commons—the audiences—who gives life to any cinematic enterprise. Thus, this film is our contribution and wager in our quest to write a culture that serves the Filipino people. Our film mediates and straddles in the intertwining locus of literature, film and cultural production especially in an era where memory seems to be fleeting and favors the architects of power.