TWIFF and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) presents the North America Premier of “Ang Lawaran,” an award winning Filipino musical. The screening will take place on January 11, 2018, at the SF Film Society Cinema (1746 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94115).
“Ang Larawan” or “Portrait” focuses on the claustrophobic lives of two unmarried sisters –Candida and Paula—who live with their reclusive artist father inside the tiny walled city of Manila. Soon the island nation itself will find itself squeezed perilously between the Japanese and United States armies on the cusp of World War II.
Paula and Candida are devoted daughters who have slipped into poverty while protecting their famous father’s unsullied artistic vision. They must fend off a crafty boarder, venal siblings, manipulative government officials, and others intent on getting their hands on their father Don Lorenzo’s self portrait of a young artist suffering under the weight of the old master as his city is consumed by flames in the background.
“Portrait” provides a deep history lesson set off by a soaring score and crisp libretto. This is no light operetta. Instead, it is a searing musical journey into the complex lives and emotions of fading Filipino members of the upper class who desperately cling to their relationship with the elegant Spanish Empire decades after their island passed to the control of the United States by the Treaty of Paris.
Producers Girlie Rodis and Celeste Legaspi have gathered some of the finest Filipino musicians and actors for this rich adaptation of Joaquin’s masterwork.