Cavite

Cavite

Director: Neill Dela Llana

Cast: Dominique Gonzalez

     
 

A young man unwillingly becomes embroiled in a terrorist plot in Cavite, a low-budget digital video project from Filipino-American co-writers/co-directors Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana. The film, shot with a jittery hand-held camera that is almost constantly in motion, opens with a panic-stricken man bringing a bomb onto aSee more details below

Overview

A young man unwillingly becomes embroiled in a terrorist plot in Cavite, a low-budget digital video project from Filipino-American co-writers/co-directors Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana. The film, shot with a jittery hand-held camera that is almost constantly in motion, opens with a panic-stricken man bringing a bomb onto a Manila bus, then cuts to San Diego, where Adam (Gamazon) is working nights as a security guard and seems to be wasting his life away before he gets a call from his mother in the Philippines, telling him he needs to come home. He's sent off by a protracted transcontinental telephone argument with his American girlfriend, but things get much worse for Adam when he lands in Manila. His mother doesn't arrive to pick him up, and he soon discovers that someone has slipped a package containing a cell phone into his backpack. The phone rings, he picks it up, and his life is changed forever. On the other end of the line, a sinister voice tells Adam that his mother and sister are being held hostage, that his every move is being watched, and that if he doesn't do exactly as the voice tells him, his family will be killed. As he's led on a grisly tour of the impoverished Cavite region, Adam, a lapsed Muslim, soon realizes that his tormentor is a member of the notorious Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, which is fighting the Philippine government to get Muslim control of the southern section of the country. While sending him through his mysterious "assignment," the caller mocks Adam for his American ways, and his lack of awareness of his own culture. Cavite was selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art for inclusion in New Directors/New Films in 2006.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
A paranoid thriller with the single-minded real-time intensity of The Blair Witch Project, Cavite is certainly notable for its efficiency and blunt effectiveness. Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana, who co-wrote and co-directed the digital video production, have certainly gotten bang for their buck. Gamazon also turns in a credible performance as Adam, the plot's victim, who is onscreen for nearly the entire running time of the movie. The other star of Cavite is the vibrantly presented street life of the impoverished areas near Manila where it was shot. Cavite, with its constantly moving camera nervously darting around Adam and everything he encounters, presents a frightened lost tourist's view of the Philippines, appropriate because Adam, a Filipino-American, seems to have lost touch with his culture. When the unseen terrorist on the other end of the phone line taunts him, asking him why he refuses to speak Tagalog, Adam defensively responds, in English, that he's "not comfortable" with the language. For all of its frightening effectiveness in delineating Adam's plight and maintaining a tight grip on the audience's interest, the movie overreaches in its thematic engagement with Islamist terrorism. Gamazon and Dela Llana get pretty specific about their terrorist villain's motives, as he lectures Adam about the deprivation and decay of the world he's left behind. That visceral ugliness overwhelms the Cavite's slight B-movie structure and, combined with a banal stateside coda, lends an unfortunate exploitative quality to the movie. The filmmakers' resourcefulness merits the praise they've earned with Cavite, but there's also a certain unseemliness to the endeavor that is difficult to dismiss.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/08/2006
UPC:
0876964000321
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
NR
Source:
Magnolia
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:20:00
Sales rank:
67,431

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Commentary by directors, Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana; Outtakes/deleted scenes with commentary

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cavite
1. Opening/Cavite, Philippines [2:33]
2. Family Emergency [2:22]
3. Dejected Traveler [4:20]
4. Arriving Home [2:00]
5. Anonymous [6:11]
6. Smoke Break [4:09]
7. Witness to Murder [6:47]
8. Noveleta Market [4:46]
9. Little Hostages [5:00]
10. $75,000 [7:27]
11. The Trade [9:41]
12. Final Sacrifice [6:57]
13. Grave Moment [2:38]
14. Quiapo Church [7:03]
15. Consequence [5:20]
16. End Credits [2:47]

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