Serbis | Chicago Reader

Serbis

Raunchy and profane, this Filipino drama by Brillante Mendoza chronicles one turbulent day at a ramshackle movie palace that screens adult films. Gina PareƱa plays the matriarch of the family that inhabits and operates the place, alternately tenacious and vulnerable as she awaits the verdict of a bigamy suit she's brought against her ex-husband. A handheld camera tracks family members, employees, and patrons along the labyrinthine hallways and staircases of the gargantuan theater, which seems more like a village than a building. With understated humor, Mendoza reveals the family's winking acknowledgement of what really drives their business: male prostitutes who ply their trade in the darkness of the theater. In Tagalog with subtitles. 85 min.

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