Medusae (2017): Deep End of the Ocean

15 Aug
Nonoy L. Lauzon


What does it take to be a good mother? What does it take to be a good filmmaker? Pam Miras’ Medusae processes an interrogation of such circumstantial essentials with the emotionally wrenching tale of a single mom who loses her son in an island she is filming for its cases of disappearances of firstborns that persist to be more than mere rural-legend stuff.

The son is an albino with a name that embarrasses him as it refers to the place where his parents first met each other. He also happens to sleepwalk, has a recurrent enigmatic dream and professes to have never wanted to be born. The lady filmmaker may not have wanted the pregnancy either but otherwise decided just the same to keep the baby who would grow up to be a problem child she nonetheless deeply loves and cares so much for. The island is peopled by folks who may or may not be resigned to their shared fate of their respective eldest of the brood taken away from their families. The medusae of the film’s title may be construed in the symbolic invocation of aquatic organisms and the nature of their reproduction as such is ultimately tied up with the very statement at the crux of the film on laws of conservation and the indestructibility of living matters and all life forms.


There is value in this parable of the sea as it recasts ways of discerning human action, frailty and limits against the vastness of a universe never to be fully knowable. Myths must exist, cults must emerge, and rites and rituals must be practiced and performed in order for the communities of the living to survive and satisfy the wants that bind humans.

It then becomes the duty of a good mother to come to terms with the flaws that define her relations with her child and it is time for filmmakers to come to the epiphany that it is not always for noble and lofty goals that they peer into private lives to make their films.

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Posted by on 15 August 2018 in Philippine Film



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