Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Champs-Élysées Film Festival Announces Awards for its 4th Edition Champs-Élysées Film Festival Announces Awards for its 4th Edition Youth Jury Call an Other Opportunities at the Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival Youth Jury Call an Other Opportunities at the Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival NHMC MediaCon: Focus On Latino Writers NHMC MediaCon: Focus On Latino Writers SydneysBuzz: Cannes 2015 Rights Roundup SydneysBuzz: Cannes 2015 Rights Roundup In David Shapiro's Doc 'Missing People' a Double Investigation Links an Artist and a Tragedy In David Shapiro's Doc 'Missing People' a Double Investigation Links an Artist and a Tragedy Visconti's Classic 'Rocco and His Brothers' is Coming Back to Theaters Visconti's Classic 'Rocco and His Brothers' is Coming Back to Theaters 'Jason and Shirley': The Cruelty and Irresponsibility of 'Satire' 'Jason and Shirley': The Cruelty and Irresponsibility of 'Satire' Félix de Givry on Mia Hansen-Løve's 'Eden' and the Lost Paradise of Electronic Music Félix de Givry on Mia Hansen-Løve's 'Eden' and the Lost Paradise of Electronic Music The Most Unique Interview Ever for the Most Unique Film of the Year The Most Unique Interview Ever for the Most Unique Film of the Year Why "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is a Cinephile's Dream Come True Why "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is a Cinephile's Dream Come True LatinoBuzz: Actress Kate del Castillo on Premios Platino and Working in Her Native Language LatinoBuzz: Actress Kate del Castillo on Premios Platino and Working in Her Native Language Review: Stéphane Lafleur's 'Tu Dors Nicole' is an Unassuming Dreamy Delight  Review: Stéphane Lafleur's 'Tu Dors Nicole' is an Unassuming Dreamy Delight Bulgarian Sundance Gem 'Viktoria' Set for U.S. Release Via Big World Pictures Bulgarian Sundance Gem 'Viktoria' Set for U.S. Release Via Big World Pictures Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Adrian Grenier, Lucy Cooper & Josh Zeman Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Find The Loneliest Whale Adrian Grenier, Lucy Cooper & Josh Zeman Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Find The Loneliest Whale Sundance Latino 2015: All Latino Films at the Festival by Section Sundance Latino 2015: All Latino Films at the Festival by Section Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas EXCLUSIVE!! Hulu Original Series, 'East Los High' Reveals the New Cast for Season 2! EXCLUSIVE!! Hulu Original Series, 'East Los High' Reveals the New Cast for Season 2!

Review: Thy Womb (Sinapupunan)

Photo of Carlos Aguilar By Carlos Aguilar | SydneysBuzz December 6, 2013 at 2:22PM

Note: 'Thy Womb' is the Philippines' hopefully entry for the Golden Globe Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : None Yet. International Sales Agent: Solar Entertainment Corporation
5
Brillante Mendoza's 'Thy Womb'
Brillante Mendoza's 'Thy Womb'

Note: 'Thy Womb' is the Philippines' hopeful entry for the Golden Globe Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : None Yet. International Sales Agent: Solar Entertainment Corporation

Giving birth to a child is a defining moment in every woman’s life. It represents the fulfillment of a biological purpose. It is also the promise of hope in a new being. Each society across the globe infuses the miracle of motherhood with its own particularities, but there is a unanimous appreciation and respect towards mothers as symbols of prosperity and keepers of a continuous cycle of life. Ironically in Brillante Mendoza’s film Thy Womb, the protagonist, a midwife unable to bear a child for her husband, decides to find him a fit woman to deliver him an heir. With immersive filmmaking and a breathtaking setting, this slice of life feature transcends mere ethnography to bring to the screen an augmented and visceral vision of reality.

Few words are ever spoken by Shaleha (Nora Aunor ), but her expressive eyes convey a religious peace and a love that knows no boundaries. Knowing that her partner Bangas-An (Bembol Roco) is reluctant to adopt a child and aware that her infertility won’t let her satisfy that necessity, she takes matters into her own hands. What she needs is simply a surrogate mother, someone who can provide him with such joy. Nonetheless, in this Bajau Muslim island community there are rules to abide by, and finding a mother for her husband’s child essentially means searching for a new wife. Lacking any sort of jealousy or selfishness Shaleha’s unconditional love motivates her to help him find the right young lady. Not only must they obtain permission from the woman’s family but they are required to raise a sizable amount of money and goods as dowry. Together they sell fish, trade, borrow and scrap as much as they can until they are able to afford Bangas-An's new wife.

Thy Womb

Rendered to help others become mothers but never getting that opportunity herself, Shaleha is a character fueled by faith and not tormented by the poising nature of human desire. Played by acclaimed actress Nora Aunor, she carries the film through its many passages and depictions of the Bajau’s lifestyle. Nurturing and assertive she is indeed a woman more than capable of caring for a child, but the cards she has been dealt require her to act with selflessness. Naturalistic and minimal her performance resonates even in the silent and humble poetry that permeate the images.

Relying upon a basic storyline, the magic of the film lies in its design. Form is more relevant here than any twist and turns in the plot. Arranged with an eclectic cinematic grammar, the director incorporates aerial shots of the sea gypsy community combined with underwater sequences, slow motion observational shots, and seemingly traditional filmmaking that are always in motion, never static. The camera is alive, it moves around this world with grace. It is also completely conspicuous making the viewer aware of its presence. Mendoza places his characters in the real world and films them, which creates a sort of raw fiction that is neither entirely scripted or fully documentarian. Still, for all the experimental elements he includes, Mendoza made a film about tradition that simultaneously inspires a sense of discovery. Via its postcard-worthy landscapes and all-consuming spirituality, Thy Womb is a film that revels in its apparent simplicity, which makes for a compelling and revelatory piece. It lets outsiders intrude into a place undamaged by modernity and functioning in harmony despite being surrounded by external turmoil.


This article is related to: Thy Womb, Brillante Mendoza, Nora Aunor, Philippines , Golden Globes, International Film Market, International Film Festival, International Sales Agent, International Film Business, International

E-Mail Updates