NERVOUS TRANSLATION Unclassified 18+
"Boasting fantastic imagery, arrhythmical cuts, an inventive screenplay and a wonderfully nuanced performance from its child star, Nervous Translation is at once a powerful rite-of-passage drama and an allegory about the uncertainty of life in … a country emerg[ing] from two decades of dictatorship and plung[ing] headlong into capitalism." – The Hollywood Reporter
In Nervous Translation, Filipino visual artist and director Shireen Seno invites you to see the world through the eyes of a child. Set in 1987 against the backdrop of political turmoil in the Philippines, the story is told entirely from the perspective of eight-year-old Yael – a shy, anxious child who spends her days after school alone at home. Yael’s mother works long hours in a factory and her father is an Overseas Filipino Worker in Riyadh. Yael fills her time listening to cassette tapes of her father’s voice and cooking him tiny meals on her miniature stove. At night, she plucks her mother’s white hairs for pocket money.
Through impressionistic imagery and occasional touches of magical realism, Seno drops clues about the outside world as well as the complicated relationship between Yael’s mother and uncle, rendered oblique through Yael’s limited understanding. Winner of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award at the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam, Nervous Translation is an enchanting, thoughtful paean to childhood innocence, curiosity and vulnerability.
"Manages to beautifully capture the oblique half-understanding and fragmented memory that characterises childhood engagement with adult affairs." – The Playlist
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