DonsolI watched the gala premiere of Donsol, an entry at the 2nd Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival last night at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The synopsis of the film:

Love is an ocean of emotions. Whalesharks, magnificent creatures of the deep, visit once a year the turquoise waters of Donsol. Daniel, the young guide who swims with the whalesharks, finds himself drawn to Teresa, a woman as beautiful and mysterious as the visitors of the sea. Burdened by past heartaches and uncertain of the future, the two find sanctuary in each other as love surfaces anew. As the tide rises and recedes in a cycle of loss and renewal, Donsol provides the breathtaking backdrop to a story of heartbreak, and the healing power of love.

I like Donsol. It was a very beautiful film with a simple story. I appreciated how it did not romanticize the setting (that much). As with other movies taking on the names of places as the film’s titles, I was half-expecting the film to come off as a quasi-tourist advertisement. On the contrary, it actually showed the struggles of Donsol and the butanding intercut and parallel with the struggles of the two main characters. The whalesharks weren’t there just make the movie stay true to its namsake. The actors also portrayed their roles well. I also appreciate how they made the characters really speak in Bicolano. This film deserves mainstream exhibition.

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