QCinema 2016’s Best Picture Apocalypse Child and Finding Comfort in Fiction
Fact or Fiction? Myth or Truth? In his 2016 feature film Apocalypse Child, Mario Cornejo cleverly blurs the line between these seemingly antithetical concepts. From the very beginning, the film shows the history of Baler, the Filipino town where it is set: its indigenous residents surviving a cataclysmic typhoon, scenes from its colonial history, and–most central to the film’s protagonist Ford (Sid Lucero)–how Francis Ford Coppola’s 70s cult classic war film Apocalypse Now (1979) shot one of its scenes there, leaving behind a surfboard that was picked up by the town’s locals which led to its becoming one of the most famous surfing spots in the country.
Throughout the film, we get to unravel the pasts of each of the adults as they soon realize that sometimes, finding comfort in fabricated myth is easier than dealing with a reality of pain. By focusing on flawed characters that struggle with both the past and the present, Mario Cornejo and co-writer Monster Jimenez creates a wonderfully crafted film that moves its viewers because of how raw and human it is.
The film almost plays like a poem with its montages of shots and scenes overlapped with well-written dialogue. Set in the picturesque seaside town of Baler, the film captivates its viewers not only through the tragic beauty of the character’s flaws and complicated relationships, but also the stunning visuals of the town’s natural sceneries.
One of Arkeofilms’ proudest achievements, Apocalypse Child is personal, thought-provoking, and meaningful.
It is now available for streaming on Netflix PH.