Cinemalaya Indie Film Festival’s ‘100’: How to Live — and Die — with Meaning

What would you do with what remains of your life if you knew you were to die soon?

I cannot remember the last time I purposely went to a cinema to watch a Filipino movie. But after reading Cathy’s review of this film, something prodded me very strongly to go see it. And I did tonight — with my yogini friend Chona. It is one of the most moving films I have ever seen and what makes it even more special is the fact that it is a Filipino film.

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‘100’, I just learned tonight, won 5 major awards in the recently concluded Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival: Best Actress Award to Mylene Dizon (Joyce), Best Supporting Actress to Eugene Domingo (Ruby, Joyce’s best friend), Best Director to Chris Martinez, Best Screenplay, as well as Audience Choice Award.

Joyce finds out she does not have long to live. She faces her impending death with bravado and determination to make it the most meaningful days of her life. She organizes her death with such order and calm as though organizing an event. With her loved ones beside her, including best friend Ruby, she fulfills her “bucket list” (the 100 things she most wanted to do before she died) one at a time. There are also points in the film where she gets to have closure in her life with some people (no spoilers here!).

The film effectively portrays Joyce’s many relationships. Foremost here was her special friendship with long-time best friend from school, Ruby. Their solid friendship through thick and thin, their adventures together as they go through Joyce’s bucket list, made me appreciate true friends even more. Then there is her relationship with her mom (played by Tessie Tomas). Joyce did not know how to break the news to her newly widowed Mom, eventually does, and they go through their personal grief and finally, acceptance, of Joyce’s fate. Also, there are the loves of Joyce’s life with whom she had to have closure.

I found myself in tears at many points of this movie for many personal reasons. For one, I have gone through life events that have made me truly wish for a meaningful “rest of my life”. Two, I started a bucket list of my own several years back and have had friends help me fulfill some of them (though some were not even aware they were doing so). Three, the plot and acting (Mylene’s and Eugene’s most specially) were downright real and very convincing. They truly deserved their acting awards!

Chona and I, over dinner, chatted about how the film impressed certain realizations on us. We both planned to blog about it, that’s for sure. I promised myself I would go over and review my bucket list and continue working on actually DOING what remained and add to it as well. She promised to start hers. We resolved to be a little “naughtier” and “freer” and “less serious” about life next year. We shared a little more of our lives in the past (and actually found several more connections between us in terms of life events) and how we could make life ahead better, purposeful, memorable, lovable.

Try to catch “100”, which is on an extended run in some theaters. It will make you think more deeply about your life, appreciate WHAT and WHO matter most in the end, and hopefully get you started on your own bucket list to make your life that much more meaningful.

Here is a sample trailer I got off YouTube:

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Michael
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 14:12:34

    Where can i buy a copy?

    Reply

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