»The Animals« follows three privileged high school students in an upper middle class suburb in the Philippines: Jake, who is organizing a big party in an effort to make money; Trina, his kleptomaniac girlfriend, who constantly worries about their future once they graduate; and Alex, Trina’s brother, who is pledging a fraternity, and going through increasingly humiliating and violent hazing rituals. The tensions culminate at Jake’s big party, where booze and drugs are in abundance, and cell phones and social media ensure that everything is documented and shared. Trina finds Jake flirting with another girl and Alex gets his final violent rite of passage.

In his feature debut director Gino M. Santos shows us the posh suburban side of the Philippines, very different from the crime and poverty that dominate the indie films from the region. It is an energetic film, taking place over the course of a single day, examining the shallowness, insecurity, entitlement and cruelty of these affluent kids.

BJÖRN CARLSSON

The Animals poster
Title
The Animals
Director
Gino M. Santos
Country
The Philippines
Length
80 min
Festival
2012
Section
Asian Images
Language
Tagalog, English
Subtitle
English
Premiere status
International Premiere
Production year
2012
Cast
Albie Casino, Dawn Balagot, Patrick Sugui
Producer
Nicano G. Santos III, Gino M. Santos, Malou Santos
Script
Gino M. Santos, Jeff Stelton
Music
Diwa de Leon

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See all films from the 2012 festival