Thy Womb seemed to have Mother Nature included in its production payroll as the sun, the rain, a rainbow, a butanding (whale shark) all appear or disappear as if on cue for the film’s director, Brillante Ma. Mendoza.
Call it divine intervention, if you will, but these incidents allowed Direk Brillante to make full use of Tawi-Tawi’s picture-perfect landscape to convey the film’s unsentimental approach to the ordinariness of extraordinary situations.
Nora Aunor, Bembol Roco, and Lovi Poe bring life to characters thrust into a complex situation as they navigate the intricacies of unconditional love.
Panoramic vistas of the turquoise blue sea in the opening sequences leave a lasting impression on viewers.
There are aerial shots of the houses built on stilts and breathtaking underwater shots of a huge butanding.
Scenes of a floating market may give the impression that these were shot in Thailand, but the setting is actually in Sitangkai.
This remote fishing village in Tawi-Tawi is known as the "Venice of the Philippines" because of the predominance of boats as mode of transportation.
Vibrant hues are used to the hilt in a Muslim wedding scene, which also features a multitude of colorful vintas.
These stunning visuals make Thy Womb a lyrical ode to Tawi-Tawi.
(CLICK HERE to read the rest of the review on PEP.ph’s microsite on the Metro Manila Film Festival)