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
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
|© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.