BISPERAS (Jeffrey Jeturian)
BISPERAS, for what it's worth is a solid drama featuring compelling performances by Raquel Villavicencio and Julia Clarete (they bagged the Awards, FYI). The premise is simple enough- a burglary fleshes out hidden unresolved issues of a family just in time for Christmas day, a day supposed to be about joy and giving, but for the characters in Jeturian's film, this is probably the worst day of their life.
Featuring some of the shakiest shots this year reminiscent of Jim Libiran's TRIBU, or Pepe Diokno's ENGKWENTRO (but these two are urban thrillers, so what's your excuse BISPERAS?), BISPERAS tells a conventional family drama rooted in Filipino religious Catholic traditions, and as Jeturian tells it... a family struggling to remain Catholic.
Told in ultrarealist manner (we follow the events from start to end in real time) BISPERAS has the family members gutting at each other's throats at repressed anger. Villavicencio truly shines among everyone, with her display of restraint amidst culminating rage. Truly, this is one sad Christmas. If at all, Jeturian made me feel homely like if it happened to me, I'd feel the same. Good use also of the old-fashioned but not so old house as the setting. It adds nostalgia.
But at the end of the day, why this story? What's new about family members unearthing their long-buried issues that's worth telling? That was my general opinion immediately after seeing the film.