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The Kite

Veteran Philippine helmer Gil M. Portes follows up his transsexual coming-out seriocomedy "Miguel/Michelle" with a very different domestic drama in "The Kite, " an effective tale concerning a child's crisis of parental faith. A bit too melodramatic in concept for art-house export, despite relatively restrained handling, the pic will log plenty of mileage on the fest circuit.

Veteran Philippine helmer Gil M. Portes follows up his transsexual coming-out seriocomedy “Miguel/Michelle” with a very different domestic drama in “The Kite, ” an effective tale concerning a child’s crisis of parental faith. A bit too melodramatic in concept for art-house export, despite relatively restrained handling, the pic will log plenty of mileage on the fest circuit.

Muscle-bound, widowed cop Homer (Ricky Davao) is a loving father to his 10 -year-old son, Rex (Lester Llansang), but his bullying, sometimes drunken behavior elsewhere is not well regarded in their poor Manila neighborhood. Cranky and hungover, he shoots a suspected thief, but it turns out the boy was only retrieving a snarled kite. Homer covers his tracks, but, unbeknownst to him , Rex was the sole witness to the fatal shooting. As father and son separately wrestle with their consciences, neighbors guess at the truth, and the incident becomes a cause celebre for public outrage and political opportunism. Good perfs , particularly from the two leads, buoy this simple morality tale; tech aspects are adequate.

The Kite

(DRAMA -- PHILIPPINE)

Production: A GMA Films presentation of a Teamwork Prods. production. Produced by Gil M. Portes. Executive producer, Marco M. Capistrano. Directed by Gil M. Portes. Screenplay, Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., Portes. Camera (color), Louie Quirino; editor, Tara Illenberger; music, Joy Marfil; production designer, Tanny Perez. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (World Cinema), Sept. 4, 1999. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Ricky Davao, Lester Llansang, Jennifer Sevilla, Mark Gil, Sining Blanco , Daryl Reyes, Connie Lauigan-Chua, Nanding Josef, Roy Alvarez, RR Herrera.

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