Edna, a film about an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who returns to the country to find her family changed by her absence, is sure to create waves when it hits theaters for a commercial run on May 20.
The movie, starring Cinemalaya 2013 Best Actress Irma Adlawan in the title role, is the first directorial job of veteran character actor Ronnie Lazaro, who also plays Adlawan’s husband.
Produced by Tonet Gedang’s Artiste Entertainment, Edna has been graded “A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).
Besides Direk Ronnie, who also conceptualized the story, with screenplay by Lallie Bucoy, the movie also stars Nicco Manalo, Sue Prado, Frances Makil, Mara Marasigan, Micko Laurente, and Kiko Matos.
Direk Ronnie is grateful to have been trusted to direct the film among so many actors and directors. “I will always be grateful to my friend, Tonet Gedang, for giving me the opportunity,” he says.
While most films about OFWs talk about misfortunes our countrymen suffer while working abroad, Edna approaches the problem from a different perspective. A psychological study in Filipino family dynamics, the movie focuses on what Edna finds when she returns to the country after years of working abroad.
Adlawan’s character comes home to find a family vastly changed and living a life very different from the one they had when she left.
She has problems adjusting to this, and how she deals with being shut out of her family’s life is one of the major points of the film.
Lazaro had a specific reason for wanting to bring a story like Edna to the screen. “This is my take on our people who work abroad. I notice that they come from our country, and they go abroad because they have to work. They spend years there, absorbing a different culture, tapos pagbalik, nag-cra-crack sila. Di naman nababaliw, pero may kakaibang nangyayari sa katauhan nila, at hindi ito kathang isip dahil lagi ako nag-o-obserba ng tao. Marami na rin akong nakitang ganito. So I thought, ‘Why don’t I do something like that?’”
Adlawan tries to put her finger on what differentiates Edna from all the other OFW-related movies that are out there.
“Siguro something that is different about this is that it tackles the psychological effects on people who go out of the country to support their families. People who get uprooted. So, what happens to them? Actually ‘yun yung subject matter I think na hindi masyadong nata-tackle sa OFW movies. Usually ang nagiging central conflicts sa mga ganitong pelikula is nagloloko yung mga anak, or nag-TNT pala, pero this time around ang focus is the psychological effect of being uprooted and alone from family, and what if something bad happens to them there abroad? Tapos pagbalik hindi na siya kilala nung mga anak niya?”
Edna will have an exclusive preview at Metropolitan Museum (April 28), Instituto Cervantes de Manila (May 9), and will tour Adamson University (April 22), UP Los Banos (April 30) and UP Diliman Film Center (May 18).