Dir: Carlo Francisco Manatad | Cast: Charo Santos-Concio, Daniel Padilla, Rans Rifol | Thriller, 105′
For his debut feature, a post apocalyptic fantasy thriller, Filippino director Carlo Francisco Manatad explores how the aftermath of catastrophe changes life for three individuals in his native city of Tacloban.
Hayan is not the first typhoon to devastate his hometown in the coastal region of Eastern Visayas and it won’t be the last. A young man wakes up one morning to discover that two close friends have disappeared in the utter chaos – his mother Norma (Santos), and Andrea (Rifol) the woman with whom he was a planning a new life.
But worst of all, the authorities impose strict regulations on the region leaving Miguel (Padilla) in a state of emotional turmoil that swings between cynicism and obdurance in a bid to survive food shortages and lack of shelter. In their hour of need many of the religious villagers seeks recourse to their faith, even folklore. Others desperately clamber onto ships offering to take them to the nearby capital of Manila.
Spiked with flashes of dark humour, and the occasional foray into fantasy as a way of evoking the climate of loss, fear and confusion, Manatad directs with confidence in this follow-up to his short film The Imminent Immanent (2018). Whether the Weather is Fine serves as a rousing tribute to the people of Tacloban whose stoicism and resourcefulness is another example of the human will to survive in times of adversity. MT
TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL 2021