Celso and Cora


2000 / 109 minutes

Directed by
Gary Kildea
Country of production

The film is about one family who live in the slums of Manila. Gary Kildea and a Filipino collaborator enter this family's life, filming them as they eat, as they care for their children, as they work on their daily chores, as they sell cigarettes at night in front of the Tower Hotel. The film employs very little voice-over: the major voice is the (sub-titled) Tagalog conversation of Celso and Cora. Kildea makes the sequence of events portrayed in the film clear through the use of blanks placed between certain sequences explaining an event or time change. The camera, as Kildea's eye, is very much a part of the film. This film grants itself neither the pretence of being objective nor that the filmmakers are invisible. By the end of the film, the viewer feels she or he has in a small way come to know Celso and Cora, the intensity of their lives, the circumstances in which they live. As a political and emotional statement, the film is powerful. Because of the filmmaker's unique use of his camera and because of his narrative style, this film became a classic. It is recommended for courses in anthropology, filmmaking, urban studies, development studies and sociology

Language and subtitles
Tagalog with English Subtitles
South-East Asia
Squatter Settlements / Homelessness Family / Kinship Urban