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Monday, June 30, 2014

Best Actress Eugene Domingo shears you up in Barber's Tales

I am a fan of  Ms. Eugene Domingo since her Kimmy Dora days. She is the only  comedienne that would make me pee in my pants. I had no bladder control. That is how effective she is in comedy. I had an opportunity to meet her in person recently.  I had some question prepared for her but another reporter blew it away.  She gamely answered the questions that was thrown her way though.  She lose some weight and has that look befitting of a season actress. (She bagged the Best Actress Award in Tokyo).  I have watched her career as a comedienne from playing a sidekick role to a lead role.   I just felt lonely after learning that she does not have an entry for this year's MMFF, but glad that I would watch her 4 months in advance, not in a comedy flick but in a drama movie.  She told the media , she gave her 101% commitment, time, passion, tears, physical, mental, spiritual and everything in this film. "I dont mind if Barber's Tales would be my last film", she added.  Barber's Tales garnered an actress award for her at the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival. I  would just like to discover what's the buzz about the movie, to let it shift her from comedy to drama.  Barber's Tales will be showing here in Manila on August 13, 2014.

BARBER’S TALES From the creators of the internationally acclaimed film BWAKAW comes a provocative period drama about female empowerment and breaking gender barriers.

Barber’s Tales revolves around newly widowed Marilou who inherits the town’s only barbershop from her husband — a business that has been passed down by generations of men in her husband’s family. With no other means of support, she musters the courage to run the barbershop. Despite the skills she gained from years of observation and assisting her husband, as a female barber she fails to attract any customers. Nevertheless, things take an unexpected turn when Marilou discovers what she is truly made of -- in the midst of mockery from men, and the support of an unexpected circle of sisters.

 Set at the onset of martial law during the Marcos dictatorship in the 1970s, the conservative setting of Barber’s Tales provides the perfect backdrop against which I explore the social taboos and moral values of the time to tell the story of Marilou, a woman who is caught between old traditions and modern dilemmas. Recently widowed and childless, she supports herself by continuing her husband’s barbershop. But as the first female barber in a male dominated small town, her liberal views and practices are met with opposition. As the entire country is stripped of its basic rights, Marilou must find the courage to stand out and stand up for herself.

As the title suggests, Barber’s Tales is structurally a narrative made up of tales from the barbershop, vignettes about Filipino rural life held together by themes that have personal resonance, including sexuality, identity and self-liberation.

Barber’s Tales is the second in a planned trilogy set in rural Philippines. Each film is a character study about varying kinds of isolation. Bwakaw (2012) tells the story of a grumpy aging gay man who thinks that all there is to look forward to in life is death.. Mga Kuwentong Barbero (Barber’s Tales, 2013) is about a widow imprisoned  by gender expectations in the 1970s. Ama Namin (our Father, now  follows the plight of a boy who enters the seminary to be with the only family he has left: his father, who is a priest.

Prior to production, Barber’s Tales won 4 awards, including Best Project, at the 2013 HongKong Asia-Film Financing Forum, an annual project market for internationalfilmmakers and financiers.

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