What are you afraid of? Brillante Mendoza‘s ‘Sapi’

Brillante Mendoza Talks About His Latest Film “Sapi” On November 6, 2013, internationally acclaimed filmmaker Brillante Mendoza’s latest film “Sapi” will be shown in SM Cinemas nationwide.
A project of Solar Films and Centerstage Productions, ‘Sapi” is, in his own words, “basically a horror film about a paranormal phenomenon of demonic possession. This paranormal occurrence has created widespread fear and curiosity.”

But again, Director Mendoza is no ordinary filmmaker, and if we will look at his filmography, we can expect “Sapi” to be no ordinary horror film. Here, the Cannes Film Festival 2009 Best Director shares his notes on “Sapi” with us.
“People have the inclination to be afraid of the unknown. Things that are unknown to us usually create a mindset of fear and anxiety. Films that carry paranormal activities are commonly labelled as horror. Paranormal occurrence is one of the things that people would usually like to explore despite its unfathomable mystery. Even if it generates fear and terror, there are those who would still believe the existence of something unseen. I believe in paranormal phenomenon not based on personal experience, but on the evidence and clarifications presented by those who have personal and actual experience of it. My take on paranormal phenomenon is to accept other people’s belief and conviction on this.
While “Sapi” uses the horror genre as its backdrop and springboard, I would like to explore more on the aspect of man’s fear. People are afraid and inclined to believe that which is not seen, yet refused to accept and believe things that they normally see that could be truly more horrifying and disturbing. The circumstances surrounding the paranormal experiences in the film are actually just the tip of the iceberg compared to the real issues considered to be horrifying. Paranormal events do not usually happen and they occur beyond human eyes and understanding yet people would readily believe and be horrified
by them. It is my intent to show that there are other things that people must pay attention to and be very afraid yet they opt to be insensitive and habituated to them. There are many things that humans commit that create havoc and horrifying effects and repercussions. These things are being committed deliberately right before us yet we refuse to acknowledge them. These situations reveal man’s amoral, insensitive and ruthless character. There are many facets in man’s cruelty that generate more horrifying impact that fear of the paranormal would pale in comparison. Apathy is the considered as the worst kind of sin. When a person has reached this level of awareness, he/she is not bound by morality and ethics. In the film, the characters running the media network personify apathy and ruthlessness, while those characters who committed theft and plagiarism typify the unscrupulous media practitioners. The parallelism between two situations: a case of demonic possession and the callousness of the powerful and influential media exemplify which of them could be more horrifying and fearful. In perspective, the film is presenting societal issues and crimes committed by those in power with immense influence on people. The effects and ramifications are so devastating that people have become hardened and accustomed to it that fear has become inconsequential.”
Brillante Mendoza’s “Sapi” will be showing beginning November 6 at SM Cinemas nationwide. (Source: SM)

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