ALIPATO: THE VERY BRIEF LIFE OF AN EMBER (2016)
Rotterdam, Melbourne, Bucheon Film Festivals
"Alipato" is an audacious exploration of chaos and anarchy in a near-future no-future Mondomanila. This film defies conventions with its chaotic narrative, vivid visuals, and transgressive elements, painting a grim world of juvenile delinquency.
The story follows Jose Rizal’s outsider kids navigating violence, robbery, and degradation, with shocking scenes challenging norms. "Alipato" is unapologetic cinema, offering a detached view of the Philippines' harsh realities.
Since 2004, I've made a bunch of shorts and eight features set in the Mondomanila multiverse — namely Mondomanila, Alipato, Ruined Heart, Bamboo Dogs, Squatterpunk, Overdosed Nightmare, Manila In The Fangs Of Darkness, and Love Is A Dog From Hell. These films are all set in an extreme alternate dystopia of Metro Manila in my head I called Mondomanila — a sprawling meta-narrative that celebrates and desecrates in the name of surrealism and sheer fun.
In "Alipato," I aim to subvert norms, transforming mundane reality into analogies of anarchy. Divided into two parts, the film explores an adolescent gang leader's life and reunites the gang two decades later in the dumpster megalopolis. Provocative elements and farce contribute to reflect the gritty reality, push boundaries, and confront societal decay.