David F1Verdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.72 (10 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Emmanuel Palo

Writers: Liza Magtoto, Emmanuel Palo

Cast: Dax Martin, Mitch Valdes, Mariella Castillo, Will Devaughn, Shamaine Buencamino, Sid Lucero, Art Acuna, Rocky Salumbides, Anita Linda, Jess Mendoza, Quester Hannah

Synopsis: David F. weaves three stories that look into the lineage of African-Americans in the Philippines–from American soldiers in the Fil-Am war to the “Amboys” in the former Clark Airfield.

It begins with the Philippine-American war in the early 1900’s when two Filipinos want to get the reward money for capturing David Fagan, the African-American soldier who deserted the U.S. army to join the Filipino revolutionaries. Another thread of the film depicts the life of a Filipina who gives birth to a “colored”baby during the Japanese occupation before the return of General Douglas MacArthur in 1944.

And then in contemporary times, a black gay impersonator in a comedy bar tries to find his father who abandoned them. His father is an African-American soldier based in Clark Air Base in Angeles City.

MTRCB Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 102 mins.

Trailer: 

Reviews:

4.5         Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“Palo’s film… is not merely a speculative chronicle of the historical David Fagen and his fictionalized descendants but a painful intimation of the unofficial history of African Americans who chose to strike roots in this country.” (Read full review)

3.5         Camilla Galang (Katipunan)

“Rain Yamson’s beautiful long takes tell stories of life and strife in the province, capturing the world in beautiful color. Tight, dirty city scenes, on the other hand, induce feelings of smallness and confusion.” (Read full review)

3.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The production values are remarkably high, with Palo’s usual eye for dramatic staging really coming to fore. I’m not sure if the film is able to reach its lofty ambitions, but it’s enough of a thrill to see it try.” (Read full review)

3.0         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Parang merong statement sa paggamit ng comedy bar bilang isang espasyo sa paglibak ng kulay at kung paano tinatanggap ng kultura natin ang pagtawa sa mga okrayan. Ang final product, nagkaroon sa akin ng dating na parang magkakakonek ang tatlong kuwento na parang hindi naman, magkakaiba pero parang hindi rin naman.” (Read full review)

2.5         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“While there are some strong aspects in each of the three stories, the whole is not the sum of its parts here. You can see some good storytelling in each part but it wasn’t totally fleshed out to leave a mark to its viewers.” (Read capsule review)

2.5         Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“We thought the episodes from three different time periods will be coalescing into one cohesive whole at film’s end, but nothing of the sort of happens. They’re not at all interconnected and you cannot really see the point of each episode.” (Read full review)

2.5         Renelson Morelos (Re[e]l Thoughts)

“The three different stories could have had an emotional resonance if only the central gay character was dramatically vivid. Rather, he comes off as unnecessarily distant and emotionally bland.” (Read full review)

2.5         Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Rich material on race and ethnicity that is ultimately undone by a lack of thematic focus.” (Read capsule review)

2.0         Emil Nor Urao (E-Reviews)

“Ang David F. ay isang failed at forgettable attempt upang mapansin ang mga Amboy sa ating bansa dahil sa sobrang nakakapagod na history telling nito. Ngunit mukhang may ilang foreigner na makakarelate sa third part at nagustuhan ko naman kung paano niya ito tinapos.” (Read full review)

1.5         Rob San Miguel (Brun Magazine)

“Inevitably, the point of the film is muddled and unrealized, that is if the movie aims to have a point in the first place.  This is unfortunate indeed because David F. could have been groundbreaking if it had succeeded.” (Read full review)