“Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria” (The Dream of Eleuteria) topped 12 other films from all over the world and bagged the Special Jury Prize Award in the International Competition of the 12th Jeonju International Film Festival in Korea held from April 28 to May 6.
The movie focuses on the day when Eleuteria or Terya, a mail order bride, is about to be sent away to Germany for the survival of her family. After an ill-attempt to commit suicide, Terya contemplates on the various reasons that make her want to go and to stay at home. Adding color to this, are various local characters that join Terya in a seeming procession as she goes off to meet the marriage broker waiting for her in the boat docks. Foremost among them is her boyfriend who argues for the sake of their “love” and offers to elope with her instead. There is also a village idiot who makes striking pronouncements about destiny and life in general.
Of course, the most heart-tugging pronouncements come from Terya’s own family. Her father is firm in the belief that she doesn’t need to sacrifice herself to save them from poverty. While her mother is torn and confused as she offers guilt-ridden advice about how Germany can give Terya the opportunities for a better life and how it will also open doors for her family.
Directed by Remton Siega Zuasola, the movie was recognized with the Special Jury Prize by a celebrated jury composed of international film makers scholars, critics, and enthusiasts. Hopefully, this award gets it more attention locally since it practically went under the radar despite some earlier recognition from local award-giving bodies. Practically all Filipino independent movies tank at the local box-office. The local movie audience still hasn’t matured enough, unlike in Korea, wherein even an indie film has a chance of being a big hit.
Thanks to the Jeonju Film Festival for the poster.