Birdshot

Birdshot

good god that ending...

to say that this film is slow is an understatement. it is less of a slow burn than it is a steady, unrelenting gaze. there's little to no burn; the stakes are there, but they're everyday stakes. the characters are dogged by quiet and heavy silences, dialogue is usurped by long tracking shots. the landscape is beautiful, gauzed in pinks and greens like an almost-forgotten daze. Maya is not quite the Nausicaa i wanted or expected her to be, but her fall from innocence is still so sad and brutal. only maybe it's not so much of a fall as it is a dig, a consequential clawing for something more, something better, something independent that unsettles the already unstable ordinary of rural life.

the genre blending is interesting, although i'm not sure they ever cohesively mix. i wanted to be more engaged in all the characters, but i felt like i was held at distance by both the coming-of-age narrative and the mystery/thriller/detective plot. there's something horribly human here, but it feels masked by its own slowness.

but. but but but. the ending is so haunting and hollow that i felt myself go slackjaw. the earth is soiled by our violence, corruption, brutality. Birdshot cruelly and genuinely suggests that perhaps our endeavors to salvage any goodness are also already tainted, too.

my heart hurts. i'm proud that this is so technically strong and visual. i'm going to sit with this for awhile, whether i want to or not. and above all else, i look forward to all the Pinoy films to follow this as the first Filipino-directed film to hit Netflix.

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