VIFF 2018: Nervous Translation


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      While her father is working abroad in Saudi Arabia, eight-year-old Yael (Jana Agoncillo) spends her days at her home in the Philippines cooking miniature meals with her toy kitchen, doing her math homework, and plucking white hairs from the head of her emotionally distant mother.

      Against the backdrop of Filipino politics of the 1980s (conveyed through newscasts), Yael—often left to her own devices—interprets the goings-on of her world in her own way, particularly when she secretly listens to the cassette recordings her father sends to her mother. With stylish, edgy editing and a lack of sentimentality, director Shireen Seno effectively conveys how a child can adapt to the discomfort of uncertainty.