San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
--Q&A to follow with director Ron Morales--
Directed by Ron Morales
Country: Phillipines, Language: Tagalog
Runtime: 84 minutes, Year: 2012
About the film:
In this unpredictable and tightly-paced thriller, family man Marlon Villar — a longtime chauffeur to corrupt Filipino politician Manuel Chango — is faced with an unthinkable predicament when he is ambushed while driving both his boss’s and his own daughter home from school one afternoon. In the chaos of the kidnapping attempt, things go horribly awry and Marlon’s daughter is taken and held for ransom instead. Desperate to save his daughter, Marlon must navigate the conflicting motives between the ruthless kidnappers, untrustworthy Chango and determined detectives eager to name him a suspect without letting on the wrong girl was taken hostage. As events spin wildly out of control, Marlon, Chango and their families are forced into a rapid downward spiral of deceit and betrayal that will leave no one innocent.
My understanding of the space in which the story unfolds was inspired strongly by a Tagalog cockfighting term: wala. Translated literally wala means ‘have not.’ Essentially, ‘underdog.’ In the pervasive world of organized crime of the Philippines, the conventional division between ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ as commonly understood it in the Western society, seems to be replaced by a less philosophical but more practical division between the have or have not. Those who ‘have’ also have the opportunity to make choices, even in a moral sense. Those who ‘have not’ are powerless against the whims of those who have. GRACELAND is a story about one underdog who decides he wants to take something for himself, and what happens to him as a result.
--Ron Morales, director
San Diego Asian Film Festival, Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
Tribeca Film Festival, Audience Award
Ghent International Film Festival, Grand Prix Best Film
Watch the trailer:
When & Where
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