The Mountain Thief
|Advance (Online)||Price||Door Sales||Price|
|Group (Min 5)||$7||Senior 65+/ Students/ Military||$8|
The Mountain Thief
Directed by: Gerry Balasta
Runtime: 79 min
Country: Philippines, USA
Language: Tagalog w/ English subtitles
Website: Official Website
To escape a war in the separatist Philippine south, Julio and his son Ingo arrive in the slums of Payatas, the world’s largest shantytown. The Mountain Thief opens to Julio and Ingo stumbling into a makeshift village called Little Hope, a slum community in which residents’ lives revolve around sifting through the mountains of trash they live in for scrap metal to sell to junk stores. The audience is shown vignettes of life in Little Hope, a community governed by unspoken rules and morals, watched over by Manong, an old man they call “elder brother.”
In Little Hope, residents roam the mountains of trash that never grow smaller searching for anything to make money off of, all in hopes of someday finding a way out. There is loneliness, desperation, and yet, hope in the thought that this could all end. There is piousness steeped in blind faith and in Ingo’s unseeing eyes, even something beautiful atop the mountains.
In time, they come to settle into this life, as we are pulled into the struggles of power that exist even in makeshift communities, the desperation that one resorts to having nothing, and the emptiness that poverty brings. Through it all, the real, raw force behind the film shines—the actors, themselves residents of Payatas, trained just in an acting workshop before the film was made. Through the characters telling the story, The Mountain Thief shows even in the most desolate conditions, it is possible to retain some humanity.
— Carmela Aquino
A homeless man wanders around Chinatown wearing a mask, and reveals an appreciation for life, even having nothing.