Friday, September 15, 2006


I watched "Penguin, Penguin Paano Ka Ginawa?", which is the Tagalog version of March of the Penguins. This is the same documentary that won the Best Documentary prize in this year's Oscars.

At first I was a bit skeptical about the Tagalog translation, afraid that much of the message might be lost. Morgan Freeman did the narration in English and Sharon Cuneta is doing the Tagalog version. However, thanks to the expert translation, which was very colloquial and even using Taglish a lot of times, Sharon was able to give the film so much heart.

In fact much of the film is about giving heart to what could've been another nature documentary easily accessible on Discovery Channel or National Geographic.

Set in the unforgiving landscape of Antarctica, "Penguin, Penguin Paano Ka Ginawa?" shows the mating rituals of Emperor penguins. The location is very central to the film, almost a character itself not only as a backdrop. Such amazing cinematography! Antarctica was captured excellently by the filmmakers - the snowstorms, the harsh landscape, the floating icebergs.

With that as the setting, the penguins have to brave the elements to march to their nesting place. With the discipline of a platoon, they walk miles and miles on solid ice and finally converge on a particular spot in the middle of Antarctica to breed. For generations this has been their ritual. Here they experience love, hunger, fierce snowstorms, loss, and finally triumph for the lucky ones.

In almost every sense it has the elements of any film: drama, conflict, villains, and a happy ending.

I was disappointed however that not many people were watching it. At least at that time of the screening there were only two of us in the theater. I hope it picks in the weekend because it is really a gem of a film, especially for families.

While we're on films, Egai Sai is here!!!

I'm so excited for this. I remember watching one Japanese film after another when I was in collge. It's free admission, which I always love. Click here for schedule and synopsis.

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