DIRECTOR: Jun Robles Lana

Selected as the Philippine entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, Bwakaw stars Filipino megastar Eddie Garcia as Rene, a crotchety and closeted silver fox whose main comfort is his dog, Bwakaw. The quintessential grumpy old man, he lives in a rundown house from whose perch he spars with passersby, including his childhood friend Zaldy, a loud and out hairdresser who is constantly urging him further out of the closet. Preferring a more sedate and solitary existence, Rene begins to reevaluate his life when the local funeral parlor, about to close up shop, asks him to claim the coffin he purchased for himself. This memento mori, given a prominent berth in his small home, nudges him a bit further into sociability. Also prompting this slight personality shift is a new friendship with a manly moto-taxi driver named Sol.

The film is filled with other nicely developed characters who move in Rene’s orbit, including a woman he strung along romantically for many years, the patient and non-judgmental local priest, and a work colleague with health issues. In this manner, Bwakaw becomes a wonderfully nuanced portrait of a community where young and old mix and mingle. But ultimately, this is Rene’s story, and watching this irascible but caring man come to terms with the regrets of his life and his search for a self-affirming way forward gives the film its moving and subtle power.


In Tagalog with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F106

Co-presented by:
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)
Philippine Consulate General, San Francisco

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!