Film & Series Review, Local Films/Series Reviews
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The Slums | #Cinemalaya2020 Film Review

The first time I saw the trailer, I was already intrigued. As mentioned, time and time again, I don’t always read the synopsis. But I saw something in their 30-second trailer that made me want to watch it right away.

My intuition was right. There is indeed something about this short film which made me watch it again after completing all the entries in this year’s Cinemalaya.

The Slums
By Jan Andrei B. Cobey

Short Feature Category 

SYNOPSIS: The Slums is a mockumentary that follows a documentary team as they terrorize a poor family living in the urban slums of Manila. The film features the colourful lives of the Reyes family: Nayda, the family’s loving mother with body image issues; Julio, the hardworking but not very bright father; Oliver, the fabulous son who wants to be a supermodel; Boy, the youngest and naughtiest child; and Pam, the feisty eldest child of the family. The family TV is broken and as they struggle to fix it, they grow increasingly annoyed as the documentary team becomes more involved in their daily lives.

What was that something, you ask? Well, the truth. Maybe not everyone’s but this is their truth. Just because there are families or people, in general living a different life that you don’t mean that their experience or feeling is the same.

Sure, they don’t have a lot in terms of material wealth but I can say the same with families who live in villages or subdivisions. They don’t have a lot and they struggle as well. We’ve all seen that type of portrayal common on teleseryes where they would exaggerate the socioeconomic status of a character. Thus, creating a huge gap between each.

If you’re rich, then you are filthy rich with a mansion, an ancestral home and cars on your driveway. You also speak English or “Spanish” which is only limited to the words bueno, tonta or cochina. If you are poor, then you live in a barong-barong and only speak Filipino.

Is there no in-between? I doubt it. But I have to point out that there have been some changes in the way socioeconomic statuses are presented on television and film today.

Now, let’s take a look at the family in the film. They are made of likeable, relatable and good characters. If they start a YouTube channel, I would surely subscribe and watch their videos. Why? Simply because they are the true picture of what a family should be. They have values and you see how much they love each other.

The mockumentary is successful in showing how families keep up with the life they have. And let me tell you, a family like them exists and they are not going to give up. They will continue to work hard and live a good life they deserve.

I should know.

The Slums 10/10 IMDB.

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