The Straits Times
Published on Sep 26, 2012

Drama on aging gay is Philippine hope for Oscars


MANILA, Philippines (AP) - An indie drama that explores the loneliness and missed opportunities of an ailing, 70-year-old gay man is testing Philippine sensibilities about sexuality and, if it passes the Academy Awards' nomination process, may get a shot as the country's entry in the best foreign-language film competition next year.

Bwakaw, or Voracious, has received positive reviews and local awards, and is doing the rounds of international film festivals in Toronto, New York, Hawaii and Tokyo.

Writer and director Jun Robles Lana says the movie is named after a stray dog with a voracious appetite for life that Rene, the main character, strikes a friendship with. Bwakaw's zest for life contrasts with Rene's grumpy disposition.

Rene came out of the closet in his twilight years, thinks it is too late for love and only awaits his own death. He has made a will and labelled his few possessions to be given away to his few friends. He even bought a coffin at a funeral home's closing-out sale.