'Off World' is a movie set in 'Smokey Mountain', a notorious slum in Manila. A few minutes into the movie we are told 30 years ago it was a small fishing village and now it is 2 million tons of garbage. It is named 'Smokey Mountain' due to the continuous flow of methane gases that leak out of the 12 story pile of trash. Children, 5 and 6 yrs old, and adults endlessly search through the pile looking for plastic and other saleable items for a few pesos a day.
Julia introduces Lucky to his brother Mamacita, an effeminate gay hustler who turns tricks to survive. Keeping their connection a secret Lucky decides to crash in Mamacita's place presumably to get closer to 'her' and keep his distance at the same time.
For me, I got so engrossed with the amazing images that the storyline lost it's momentum and I found myself confused but haunted.
While I was cleaning up the theater I asked a friend what he thought of the movie and he said 'I think it was just a way to show how those people were living in that slum and they could have said that in 15 minutes'. I have to agree that the storyline felt like it was there to serve the larger purpose of educating the viewer about the conditions in the Smokey Mountain slums and yet I am still haunted by some of the most striking cinematography I have seen in a movie.
Thanks for reading and as always your comments are welcome.. yona c. riel
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