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DAGSIN [Gravity]

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1746 Post Street

San Francisco, CA 94115

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Synopsis:

After surviving World War II, the Death March and several attempts on his life, Justino had become an atheist. But after his wife’s demise, a part of him now yearns to believe in life beyond death just to be united with her again. Searching for parts of his wife he can still hold on to, Justino goes through her personal things. Mercy, their adopted daughter, finds a box-full of Corazon’s diaries, and he devours them for information into their past.

A patriot and brilliant Judge during the Martial Law era, Justino’s quest for justice was firm even after he was ambushed by hired assassins, turning him into a paraplegic for life. But when they abducted Corazon, the idealistic and fiery human rights advocate finally bowed down to the "System" in exchange for her safety.

When Justino meets Severino, he is shocked by the information the former political prisoner shares-- Corazon was incarcerated in the same holding facility he was held. Severino recounts her ordeal and the abuses she suffered that he never knew... Justino again dies inside. Plagued with regret and guilt for what happened to her, he resolves to join his wife for good… But his story does not end there.

DAGSIN (Gravity) is a modern day example of Humanity's Sisyphean struggle itself.


Director Statement:

The title of the movie, "Dagsin" or "Gravity" (in English), metaphorically alludes to the force that binds us to one another… Love.

Unlike other romantic plots that concentrate on how the couple met, fell in love and lived happily ever after, our story concentrates on its aftermath; beyond the "ever after." Gravity, can also be an alternate title as it refers to the heaviness we feel when we are suddenly burdened by life. Like the time when a mourning widow is faced with the tragic reality of death, loss and is quietly forced to breathe-in years of unresolved guilt.

On the surface, the story's plot may seem simple: An old man's love story that has now ended with the passing of his wife. Yet, we have richly layered the movie with sub-plots (World-War II and Martial Law), characters, symbolisms and metaphors that can be deciphered by those who crack the surface.

I used the location itself, an old mansion, as a character in the movie. Grand, but now nearly abandoned and falling apart, the house mirrors its owner Justino, is old, worn-out and nearing his end. Like a ghost, he wanders within the shadows of his past in his mausoleum of memories.

Although the movie can be classified in a number of ways: Drama, Romance, Art House, etc., I personally categorize it under "Noir," because "Dagsin" is a crime, suspense drama of sorts, where the perpetrator, the victim and the executioner are one and the same person. A respected and venerated Judge during Martial Law who compromised his integrity in exchange for the safety of his wife, Justino's conscience now haunts him and insists on passing judgment on his past sins.

Q and A after the screening.

"Dagsin" is one man's "soliloquy" of desperation for his departed love, his soul and his God.

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1746 Post Street

San Francisco, CA 94115

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