Directed by: Jun Lana
Written by: Jun Lana
Starring: Eddie Garcia, Princess and Rez Cortez
The official Philippines submission for the race to Oscar glory comes in the form of the humorous and thoughtful film, Bwakaw, from writer-director Jun Lana. Following the story of a rather isolated and grumpy old man and his favorite canine companion, Bwakaw not only examines the loneliness that comes with aging alone, but also touches on the beauty of change and the chance to lead life unburdened by regrets and shoulda woulda couldas.
Set in a provincial town, located at an inconvenient distance from Manila, 70 year old Rene (played by the acting veteran Eddie Garcia) is one local whose bark is worse than his bite. Offering to continue working at the postal office despite having resigned, Rene has never held back his opinions, offensive remarks, or curses. The only creature that he shows any public affection to, is his dog, Bwakaw. But as events start to shake the lives of those around him, Rene finds himself unable to continue a life of complete isolation, because despite his outward grumpiness, Rene holds a great level of compassion for others.
With some genuinely hilarious moments (particularly those involving Rene’s flamboyantly gay hairdresser and his transexual partner), Bwakaw touches on the moving truths of life, death, and love with a surprisingly fresh and adventurous take that you wouldn’t expect from the quietude and stillness of provincial Philippine life.
Also an official selection of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, Bwakaw is certainly a notable submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars next year.