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In competition: "Kinatay" by Brillante Mendoza

About the film:
One year after the in-Competition presentation of Serbis, Brillante Mendoza is back in Cannes as the advocate for his seventh feature film, Kinatay, competing for the Palme d'Or. In Kinatay, which means "massacre" in Filipino, the streets of Manila turn into a hellhole for Peping, a young criminology student. As a junior member of a local gang, he is never trusted with anything big. One day, however, his crime bosses offer him a lot of money for a very special task…

"My film is based on a true story, explained Brillante Mendoza. When I was doing research for my film Slingshot, I interviewed a number of petty gangsters. One of them was a former criminology student whose confession to me was much like Peping's story. I put the story in the back of my mind as an excellent subject for a film. I was drawn to the idea of talking about death in an incongruous situation and time. I wanted to show how absurd it was."

Press conference:
The crew of the Filipino film  Kinatay gathered in the press conference room today to field questions from reporters. Director Brillante Mendoza was flanked by actors  Mercedes Cabral, Maria Isabel Lopez, and Coco Martin, along with producers Didier Costet and Ferdinand Lapuz. Highlights:

Brillante Mendoza on the main character Peping's lack of initiative:
"The main intention was to show what the character is going through, from early morning until the following morning. Part of the narrative is showing the transition from day to night, and him as a normal person going through his daily life, and experiencing a different kind of a joy in his life as he goes along and is involved with these gangsters. I wanted the audience to feel and experience with him what he is going through, because the following day he will be a completely and totally changed person."

Brillante Mendoza on the use of time:
"I thought of using, as in my previous film, real time to treat this kind of genre, this kind of psychological thriller, or psychological drama. Prior to filming this story, I saw other films by other masters, but I thought, 'I'm going to treat it differently.' I want the audience to have a different kind of experience. I want them to be with the character. I think it will be more effective if you do it in that way, rather than watching a film. When you watch a film, or a horror film, it's there just to scare you, but not to experience the whole process."

Brillante Mendoza on the film's style:
"Other than the images, I think the sound and music play a vital role. Even if you don't see it in the images, you can almost feel the character and what's going on in the film just by hearing the sound and the voices of the character."


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