Part psychological thriller and part cinema verite documentary, this gripping film follows the story of Adam, an American citizen visiting the Philippines for his father’s funeral. Recently dumped by his girlfriend because of his Muslim background, Adam arrives in the Philippines agitated and is immediately informed by a mysterious caller that his mother and sister have been kidnapped. Adam soon finds out that the caller is a member of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim terrorist group, and learns that his loved ones will be killed if he doesn’t comply with their demands. His convictions and fortitude are put to a test as he begins a frantic journey through the crowded markets, slums, and streets of the homeland he never truly knew. This race to protect his family eventually culminates in a fateful confrontation with his own identity.
Filmmakers Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana take the viewer on a tense thrill ride through areas of the contemporary Philippines rarely seen in this visually fascinating film, shot in a “guerilla” style. With a minimal budget and a limited amount of time, this truly independent feature layers intelligent storytelling with raw drama, using the backdrop of a country’s cultural landscape as an integral part of the story to create a narrative, travelogue, and lesson on the Filipino way of life.