Without doubt, this is one of the most interesting films included in this
   year's crop.
Cavite was made on a shoe-string budget and when the
   movie makers were unable to find an Asian actress for the lead role, a
   few adjustments were made and one of the co-directors, Ian Gamazon,
   stepped into the role.

           The movie's premise is pure Hitchcockian: a seemingly innocent man
   is caught up in circumstances much bigger than himself. The hero is
   Adam (Gamazon) who originally hails from The Philippines and now works
   as a security guard in Southern California. His life isn't exactly going well.
   Adam gets a call informing him that his father has died and he must return
   home for the funeral. While awaiting his flight at the airport, he has a
   distressing conversation with his girlfriend who reveals that she's pregnant
   and planning to have an abortion. It only get worse.

           Once he's landed in The Philippines, Adam finds a cellular phone in
   his knapsack, along with photographs of his mother and sister. He
   receives a call and is told to do whatever he is instructed to do or else his
   family will be tortured and murdered. It soon becomes clear that members
   of the
Abu Sayyaf, an insurgent group of Muslims who wish to establish
   their own government in the southern part of the country, are behind the
   disappearance of Adam's family. For the remainder of the film, Adam
   navigates his way around the countryside attempting to meet the
   kidnapper's demands.

           If you are willing to turn yourself over to the premise and go with it,
   Cavite proves to be an engrossing and surprising thriller, with a bang-up
   twist. By showing the abject poverty of the rural areas of The Philippines,
   the filmmakers make obvious the seeds from which terrorism can spring,
   but do so without the heavy-handed approach of mainstream films like

Rating:         B+
© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
Ian Gamazon as Adam in Cavite,
Ian Gamazon and Neill dela Llana,
Philippines/USA, 2005; 80 min.
Photo credit : Truly Indie.