‘Oro’ treads on reality of prevailing injustice

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Cast: Irma Adlawan, Mercedes
Cabral, Joem Bascon, Sandino
Martin, Sue Prado and
Biboy Ramirez
Director and Writer:
Alvin Yapan
Producers: Mark Shandii
Bacolod, Feliz Film
Productions

“When nature becomes an excuse for violence, everything that is gold turns into blood.”

Based on real-life events, Orodepicts an emotional, hard-hitting reality of how injustice still prevails in this age; a realization of why a community, rich in gold, struggles for money and even the most basic needs.

This socio-political film is about a small-scale mining district in Barangay Gata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur, where ordinary Filipinos live a simple life. The fiber of their existence, however, gets disturbed when a group of armed environmentalists comes, settles down in their barangay, and takes over the mining operations purportedly for environmental reasons.


Irma Adlawan, Joem Bascon and Mercedes Cabral

Irma Adlawan, Joem Bascon and Mercedes Cabral

Director Alvin Yapan has successfully translated the story of “Gata 4 Massacre”—an incident that occurred in 2014—into film, letting viewers know about this nefarious crime, which was sidelined by the mainstream media.

Highlighting poverty, greed and its consequences, Yapan deserves commendation for bravely delving into this case which is still pending at the Regional Trial Court in the Bicol province.

Irma Adlawan as the tough Kapitana, Mercedes Cabral as lover of one of the slain miners, and Sandino Martin as one of the surviving witnesses, may possibly get nomination or even win in the acting derby for effortlessly essaying their roles. However, if there’s an Ensemble Acting Award, the cast of Oro should win hands down.

Using dutch angle shots, Yapan was able to set a darker mood; the tilted shots can be considered mirrors of unfairness and unequal scale of justice prevailing in the oppression of the remote province by the Patrol Kalikasan.

The massacre scene surely evoked painful emotion for members of the victims’ family and witnesses to the crime as it was executed in the same spot where the miners were killed—falling on the ground the same way the four poor victims fell.

Graded B by the Cinema Evaluation Board, this all-in-one film opens the minds of the people—not wanting of scenes to make viewers laugh, cry, get angry and question why there are individuals willing to shed innocent blood because of greed.

Although some parts of the story were fictionalized for cinematic purposes, Oro is still beautifully made, well-balanced, ethically shot and not exploitative. For sure, this Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 entry will be included in the line up of films crying for justice just like Hustisya and Minsa’y Isang Gamo Gamo.

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