The renewal of an ancient family feud leads to redemption for an outcast son in “Shiro’s Head,” the first-ever feature made in Guam by Guamanians. A compelling character study hampered by a surfeit of voiceover narration and overly ambitious plotting, this well-produced DIY debut by ethnic Chamorro siblings Kel and Don Muna nonetheless shows promising raw talent. A worthy fest addition, the self-distribbed film has notched decent biz in scattered local release since Oct. 3. Trimming by a few minutes would assist tube prospects.
Story is framed around the straight-to-camera confessional of Vince Flores (Don Muna), a grungy hustler crippled and guilt-wracked by his role in the car crash that killed his father. Muna’s charismatic perf drives the tale of Vince emerging from the shadows upon the return of family friend Noah (Matt Ladmirault). Duo form an uneasy alliance following the murder of Vince’s half-brother (Julian Santos) by a scary Japanese assassin (Dion Lizama) seeking a sacred sword held by the Flores clan. Details of the invented legend are overly elaborated, but Vince’s reformation in the midst of bloodshed commands attention. Tech credits are polished; music is terrific.