A group of armed and masked men belonging to the Muslim Abu Sayyaf group burst into a hotel on an island resort and kidnap twelve foreign guests. The attack was intended to target employees of the World Bank, but they have already left the resort. The abductees are tourists and Christian missionaries who are now forced on a grueling foot march through the Philippine jungle. Together, the hostages and the kidnappers find themselves having to cope with the trials of nature; gradually, the climate of fear, prejudice and hatred evolves into a strange, symbiotic relationship. The contours begin to blur, certainties are called into question. Nothing seems to be the same any more.
As in his earlier work, Brillante Mendoza once again invites the viewer of Captive to enter the extremely ambivalent inner world of a huis clos. Taking the viewer hostage as it were, the film creates a sensibility for a series of existential threats posed by humans and nature alike and also explores with eerie magic real and spiritual ways out of the crisis. Based on historical events that occurred in 2001, the film was shot in real locations with a cast of nonprofessionals and actors. –Berlinale
Director Brillante Ma. Mendoza was born on July 30, 1960 in San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines. He finished Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas where he majored in Advertising. His career began as a Production Designer in feature films, television, and theatre. His mastery over production design was featured in acclaimed local films such as Takaw Tukso (Flirting With Temptation, 1986), Private Show (1986), Olongapo (1984), The Great American Dream (1987), and many others. In 2005, Mendoza founded Centerstage Productions (CSP), an independent film production outfit. This film out fit produced feature films that gained several awards in local and international film festivals. As a production designer for feature films, he moved to television commercial productions and became one of the most sought after production designers. From 1990 to 2004, he focused his career as an Art Director for television commercials for national and multi-national… read more
It's hexed from the moment we're thrust into the thick of crisis. Most scenes starve for tactility and tension while Brillante is content to coast on the sensationalism of those that illustrate gruesome acts. Characters, including Huppert's, are barely even limned. And the Abu Sayyaf's broken/Carabao English is suspiciously studied, no? How about demonizing the bandits already conceived as laddish? Anak ng--
An exceedingly naturalistic depiction of a year-long abduction has critics wrangling over the question, What’s the point?
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