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Freedom to Choose

Malamaya (Colors of Ash) tackles women and the space they rightfully deserve

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By ANGELA CASCO

Every film that’s ever been made about a May-December love affair more or less looks the same: A couple with a big age gap finds (an often heated) romance in each other, enjoys the exhilarating rush of newfound love, and tries to navigate the complications of being in an unconventional setup. Malamaya (Colors of Ash), however, exceeds the typical.
Directed by female directing duo Danica Sta. Lucia and Leilani Chavez, the full-length, feature film finalist explores a woman’s space, how she moves in it, and how someone else’s presence invades it.
“It’s a study of space,” Sta. Lucia tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle during an interview before the film’s gala screening. “[The] May-December love affair is only one of the many threads of the story.”
“The message is clear—a woman deserves her space, as well as the right to live, think, and grow in whatever way she chooses.”
The movie’s lead, veteran actress and Cinemalaya first-timer Sunshine Cruz, gets better at portraying the emotions and the feminist sentiments of Nora as the film progresses.
Fellow Cinemalaya rookie, Enzo Pineda, braves the daring scenes in the film.
“As an actor it’s my first time to do something like this, where I have to show more skin than usual,” he says. “Personally, I’m also not an extrovert so I really had to work on my confidence, especially working with an older actress.”
The film, however, though excellent in costume, editing, and even musical scoring, somehow leaves room for improvement in showing a more genuine and unpretentious quality and feel.
Despite a few plot holes, Malamaya remains consistent with its subject that, by the end of the film, the message is clear—a woman deserves her space, as well as the right to live, think, and grow in whatever way she chooses.
Catch all the films in #Cinemalaya15 from August 2 to 13 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and select Ayala and Vistas cinemas nationwide.

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