Set during the time of the American occupation of the Philippines in the early 20th century this film tells a story of a family moving closer to nature. As the mountains offer them refuge from threatening military forces, they re-learn the ways of their ancestors. Inevitably, the war creeps closer and the boy must choose his calling in life. The film portrays an alternative resistance of the times, one that moves away from a history of armed struggle and delves deeper into the opposition of forces, survival of human existence, and a liberation of the true Filipino identity.
The film recreates the look of “studio pictures” of the early 20th century with painted backgrounds and totally constructed foreground sets. The look follows American era sound films that are deliberately staged and shot dramatically. Also in keeping with the style of the era, the film also contains an intermission, shot as newsreel, a documentary that contrasts with the narrative film it punctuates.


Raya Martin was born in 1984 in Manila, Philippines. He graduated from the University of the Philippines Film Institute in 2005 and worked as writer and researcher in local television, newspaper, radio and online magazines.
His first feature film “Short Film about the Indio Nacional (Or the Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos)”, was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. It won the Lino Miccichè Award at the 2006 Pesaro International Film Festival, Italy.
The Buenos Aires Festival International de Cine Independiente, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, and Cinema du Reel in Paris have featured a retrospective of his works.
Martin is the first Filipino filmmaker to be accepted in the Cinéfondation Résidence du Festival de Cannes. His latest film “Now Showing” premiered at the 40th Directors’ Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. It won the Cinemanila Boracay Co-production Grant in 2005. His film, “Next Attraction”, won Grand Jury Price at the Digital Lokal, Cinemanila Film Festival in October 2008.



Mother – Hilda Koronel
Son: Sid Lucero
Stranger: Alessandra de Rossi


Scriptwriter & Director: Raya Martin
Director of Photography: Jeanne Lapoirie
Production Designer: Digo Ricio


Producer (Philippines): Cinematografica Films, Arleen Cuevas
Co-Producers: Razor Film Produktion, Atopic Films (France), Volya Films (Netherlands), Arte France Cinéma


Fonds Sud France, World Cinema Fund (Germany)



Memento Films


Official Selection Cannes 2009: Un Certain Regard
Official Selection Toronto Film Festival 2009
Official Selection Rio Film Festival 2009
Official Selection New York Film Festival 2009
Official Selection Munich 2009
Official Selection Bangkok Film Festival 2009
Official Selection Vienna International Film Festival 2009
Official Selection Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2009
Official Selection Torino Film Festival 2009
Official Selection International Film Festival Rotterdam 201