Another local film that will blow our mind away is coming our way.
Director Mikhael Red announced in a Facebook post on Monday that his much-awaited survival thriller "Arisaka," starring Maja Salvador, would finally premiere on Netflix Dec. 9.
The film, which touches on how history has a habit of repeating itself, revolves around a woman police officer who is on the run and hides in the wilderness that happens to be the scene of the Bataan Death March. To escape her captors and seek her vengeance, she retraces the trail of the World War II march where thousands of Filipinos died.
In an interview with Variety, Red, known for his films "Dead Kids" and "Birdshot," said that the setting of the film was the same area where the Death March took place and "where a lot of prisoners of war tried to escape their Japanese captors."
"They would hide in the forest and sometimes they would never make it out. To this day relics and remains are still being found in these forests," he said.
The title of the film, said the report, was taken from the name of a World War II-era Japanese bolt-action rifle.
According to Red, the film isn't anti-Japanese, but anti-oppressor.
"It is not anti-Japanese. It is more anti-oppressors. And there is that parallel of being chased by people. To say more would be a spoiler, but the protagonist starts to understand what the Filipino soldiers had to go through to survive the authorities when they were prisoners of war (during WWII)," he said.
Red also shared that the film touches on the indigenous people of Bataan and shot with a real Aeta community. The film also featured "a lot of non-professional actors."
“That is one thing I’m hoping will surprise audiences. We have a very powerful first-time performance from a woman of the Aeta community," he said.
"This time the Filipino authorities are the modern-day invaders. The Aeta have been struggling with their land ever since, they’ve witnessed war and now things are happening over again.”
"Arisaka" premiered at the 2021 Tokyo International Film Festival last month. – Kaela Malig/RC, GMA News