Philippines, 2007, 90 minutes
Fri, Apr 24 / 9:30 / Kabuki / CONF24K
Sun, Apr 26 / 2:30 / Kabuki / CONF26K
Wed, Apr 29 / 4:00 / Kabuki / CONF29K
Videographer Ryan Pastor travels from Manila to Cebu with his girlfriend to film the annual religious Sinulog festival with hopes of entering his finished work in a documentary competition. On the way, he falls out with his girlfriend, films some of the religious procession and then gets drawn into the dark world of small-town politics when he interviews the ex-mayor, Lito, who sees Pastor as a kind of “confessor” with a video camera. Lito reveals sordid details about a starlet known intimately by his circle of friends, the corrupt building practices that led to a school collapse and the deaths of many children and even his murder of a drug lord. He also makes known that he has a fatal disease; nonetheless, as Ryan films, fate has something else in store for Lito. Confessional is a smart indie mockumentary that makes the most of its limited resources—including codirector Jerrold Tarog pulling double duty in the part of Ryan and effective use of Ryan’s handheld footage. (In real life, Tarog and Antipuesto have each consecutively won the Sinulog Festival’s documentary film competition.) But what elevates the film is its witty play between fiction and reality (is Lito a fantasist or for real?), a strategy that reveals essential truths. With his dark power, Lito distills and personifies all that is wrong in Philippine society, while Pastor represents the impotent observer—an intersection of morals that begs more questions than it answers.
In Cebuano and Tagalog with English subtitles. North American Premiere.