<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 22, 2016

Director Mel Chionglo And The Problems Of Filipino Priest In 'Iadya Mo Kami (Deliver Us From Evil)', An Entry In The World Premieres Filmfest

DIRECTOR MEL CHIONGLO tackles the problems of a priest in his latest drama, “Iadya Mo Kami (Deliver Us from Evil)”, a competition entry in the Filipino New Section of World Premieres Filmfest that starts on June 29 at selected SM Cinemas and will run until July 10. The film is also an entry in the main competition of the 13th Salento International Filmfest in Italy come September. It stars Allen Dizon as a priest who sires a child with Diana Zubiri, a boutique owner. So how did he conceive of the project?

“Five years ago, I got to talk to a priest friend about the problems of the church and he said na kung sa abroad, ang problema is yung mga paring pedophile, dito naman sa atin, ang malaking problema ng kaparian is the fact na maraming pari ang may asawa at may pamilya,” he says. “When this happens, they usually just sweep it under the rug by reassigning the erring priest to another parish. I told about this to Ricky Lee and he wrote a script about the plight of priests. But I said I want it to be positive. So we follow the personal journey of just one priest, si Fr. Greg played by Allen, and the trials and struggles he has to face in his journey. Nagkaanak siya and gets involved in a murder case, but his journey becomes a personal search for him to find his true calling: will he leave the clergy or will he go on serving the flock? Parang predicament ito ng isang taong lumilihis sa kanyang sinumpaang bokasyon.”

In interpreting the role, Direk Mel told Allen to give a very muted portrayal of Fr. Greg. “I told him his performance should be very quiet. Si Fr. Greg is not emotionally expressive. Wala kang makikitang manifestation sa mukha niya anuman ang pinagdaraanan niyang pagsubok. His emotions should always be restrained, in check. All his turmoil, dapat nasa loob lang, and I’m happy that Allen is very receptive sa naging intentions ko for his role.”

This is quite experimental but it proved to be effective because when the film was shown as an entry in the recent Silk Road Filmfest in Ireland, Allen won the best actor award for his very controlled performance. We’ve seen the film and aside from Allen, also giving competent performances are Ricky Davao as the abusive town mayor who is murdered, Aiko Melendez as the mayor’s wife who supports even her husband’s proclivities and nefarious activities (Aiko was nominated as best supporting actress for his performance here at the Houston Filmfest in Texas and she’s really outstanding), Rolando Inocencio as the priest with a drinking problem, Eddie Garcia as the bishop who helps Allen in threshing out his personal problems, Elora Espano as the assistant of Aiko who has a deep dark secret and Diana Zubiri as Allen’s lover who has a hard time accepting his final decision.

The film offers beautiful cinematography by Mhyco David, shot in the scenic mountain town of Tablay in Benguet, about an hour from Baguio. We also enjoyed Emerzon Texson fine musical score that never intentionally intrudes. We just wish that Allen is given even just one scene where he gets to concretely communicate his personal dilemma on screen to make the viewer much more emotionally involved in his plight as a priest who’s going through a crisis in discerning where he really wants to go and what he truly wants to do in his life. As it is, most of the time, Allen is just shown in most scenes with a mere pained expression permanently etched on his face.