The Church film group recently met to watch The Blossoming of Maximos Oliveros.
Set in one of the many slum communities of Manila, in the Phillipines the film follows the story of Maxi, a gay adolescent who, after the death of his mother, takes over caring for his two older brothers and father, who make their living stealing mobile phones. The arrival of a handsome new policeman into the district catches Maxi’s attention. The policeman is far more interested in the Oliveros’ family business.
It was a fun film to watch, and it’s themes were not as obvious as this synopsis suggests. Although sexuality was part of the narrative, we found ourselves talking more about the film’s portrayal of family relationships, loyalty, the betrayal of friends, the loss of parents, community togetherness, and the responsibilities children hold in families. Being a low budget film we found ourselves drawn in by the dialogue and the story, accompanied by an effectively simple musical score.
The film’s value lay in its effectual portrayal of lives lived happily, overcoming, and embracing social and economic obstacles.