Brilllante Ma. Mendoza explains 2 endings of “Apag,” official entry to 2023 SMMFF
Movies & Television Series

Brilllante Ma. Mendoza explains 2 endings of “Apag,” official entry to 2023 SMMFF

Mar 29, 2023, 4:58 AM
Boy Villasanta

Boy Villasanta


How can one explain the employment of two endings in one movie?

This is how tricky “Apag,” one of the official entries to the 2023 Summer Metro Manila Film Festival, narrative is.

According to its director, Brillante Ma. Mendoza, internationally acclaimed filmmaker, the film project has both local and international releases.

Nang ipalabas ko ito sa Korea recently, ninerbiyos ako. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang reaksyon ng foreign audience sa buong pelikula (When I recently showed this in Korea, I got nervous. I didn’t know what would be their reaction about the whole film,” said Brillante.

The film tackles not only justice, guilt, reproach and forgiveness but Philippine culture and its culinary delights as well especially as Pampango cuisine.

Mendoza known abroad as a filmmaker who shocks the audience with many of his startling scenes (like bursting forth a boil in “Serbis,” dismembering body parts of a prostitute in “Kinatay,” a grandma wading in the floods to seek donations for a dead grandson in “Lola,” delivering a baby monster in “Bahay na Pula” etc.) ended “Apag” in Korean screenings with a happy note—the wealthy savoring the delicious food prepared and served by the aggrieved poor people as waiters.

Brillante said the foreign viewers loved the whole film.

The caveat, though, came when Mendoza entered the film in the 2023 SMMFF.

Kasi, pag nai-screen na sa ibang bansa, hindi na puwede. Ang sabi ng committee, puwede kung ibang version ang isa-submit (In the submission, a film which was already screened abroad is disqualified. According to the committee, it is allowed if a different version is submitted),” he clarified at the mediacon of the film at SM North EDSA The Block Cinema 2 Tuesday night.

What Mendoza did was to end the Philippine version with another surprising scene—a massacre of the rich people by poisoning from one of the members of the wounded family.

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