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Lugal Abu (Grey Area)

Lugal Abu Landscape

Director

Ej Gagui

Country

Philippines

Category

Documentary

Digital Rights Issue

Access to the Internet and Digital Technologies

Watch the Film

Synopsis

Sitio Haduan is a remote barrio in Mabalacat, Pampanga in Central Luzon, home to an indigenous Aeta community. The aggressive development of the nearby Clark City has impacted their way of life and survival. In parallel, indigenous students adapt to the lowlanders’ lifestyle, using smartphones and social media.

The film delves into the experiences of two high school students from the Aeta community. Jonathan, 16, was born with a weak heart, barring him from strenuous activities. He is determined to continue his studies and become a teacher someday, redefining the hunting and farming role usually expected from men in his community.

Sally, 17, was forced to work and clean houses at a young age due to poverty. But she believes she deserves an education and wants to prove to her family that it will be worth it for their future. Now starting 8th grade, her goal is to become a doctor someday.

The film portrays how students like Jonathan and Sally grapple with the complexities of modern education and development projects that push them further into the margins. It highlights the effects of these changes on their surroundings and how they affect their lives.

Learn more about the film's digital rights issue in
'Whose Development? Urbanisation, Education, and the Digital Divide.'

About the Director

EJ Gagui is an independent Filipino-Kapampangan filmmaker. He co-founded a regional-based mini-film company, Eximious Produkt, to showcase his visual practice of combining fiction and documentary in narrating the everyday miracles, revelations, history, and crises within his hometown. His first short film Ing Tianak was selected as a finalist of the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Mit Out Sound 2021. His second short film, Rock in a Windless Wadi, premiered at the Opening Scenes competition at Visions du Réel 2022 and won Special Mentions at the Gawad Alternatibo and SeaShorts Film Festival.