I STARED at the horizon hardly comprehending the speaker’s exposition about March as “Women’s Month.” As it went, the mind trivialized its comprehension of the topic. Already, I was imagining how Doc Martin is socially inept but is an outstanding surgeon and general practitioner in the Netflix movie series I am currently watching.
Don’t get me wrong. I love women in general, and all the more, I love my wife and two daughters in particular. A beautiful daughter from my son and his wife made me grandfather.
There are lots of women who made my life comfortable, and the Bible says that between the man and woman, the latter is “a weaker vessel” and created “a helper fit for the man.”
I am quite familiar with the traditional roles of women in our society, and largely because of that, I have no memories about the women who made my life miserable and how. Will I reboot my memories about them in my mind this month of March?
Yes, and during this month, let us indeed think about all the women in our lives—the good and bad alike. Who knows, with our mental reboots, we will come to a better understanding of these beguiling creatures and the labels we attach to them.
So what inspires our thoughts and actions about women?
While some cinematic remakes may bring us to the edges of despair or ecstatic joy, I am afraid we will miss the point of it all. This happens when we are selective about what we want to see, encounter and re-examine before our mental screens.
To men, in particular, we miss the point when we only meditate or imagine women in terms of our pursuits for an agreeable companion, or an angel we could count on to help us achieve some heavenly and blissful experiences in each stop of our earthly journeys. With women beside us and cheering us on, we will brush aside a litany of profound disappointments and obstacles. Common man, are you real?
Yet I do believe my encounters with women growing-up were an encounter with Angels and cheerleaders (my grandmother, mother, aunts, sisters, and friends) who prepared me to be a visionary award-winning author, actor, director, and producer of this movie and Best Picture nominee, “The Weaker Vessel.”
As “weak vessels,” the women make the Angels and what they do appear. In their weakness, the women showed me how to be strong.
Before the silver screen, I saw my grandmother long bedridden but who always spoke in soft words that made my giant grandfather tremble. My mother whose left shoulder was run over by a speeding car while we were young, was able to rear nine children with a steady voice that upheld her ancestor’s teachings about “Inayan” similar to the Christian’s “Thou Shall Nots” in the “Ten Commandments.”
The movie is about women. It is currently being staged and filmed in the beautiful highlands of the Cordilleras giving its characters their pride in place. The film ventures bravely into uncharted territory, giving viewers a deeper glimpse into the personal, economic, religious, and professional limitations of married highland couples and how women are coping and managing their roles in their families. The film will focus the public’s lens on an idyllic veil of romantic affections, family and clan relationships, jealousies, and a myriad of fights on money, table manners, and social and emotional maturities or immaturities, among others.
Through the masterful performances of the main actors, the women’s courageous and multiple dimensional roles get narrated and portrayed as headstrong but gentle characters, nurturers, care and comfort givers, and providers, in a setting of real family-living.
The film can get complex and end with a confused plot if it is not rooted in the story of one family and its matriarch with the difficulties, riches, joys, and sorrows of their domestic life together. It is a family is flesh and blood. Man and women deeply love each other. They have their fights. Soon the whole family of five members finds themselves struggling to live together. The children are afraid of their father. The eldest son is soon estranged with his dad, and the mother was heartbroken. The mother continued to keep in touch and brings the son home after two years. Both father and son apologize to each other and make-up.
Meanwhile, the sisters have been fighting with each other and later, with their mom. Grudges are made and are held. Mother continues to burn with grace and love. As day turns into night, they return and promise to support one another, as the father and son did earlier on.
The cycle is repeated time and again, and in varying degrees. It is a drudgery where you can almost hear the members of the family, at different points of the film ask themselves, how did I end up belonging to this weird group of people and not another? Are we a family because if we are, we are not jelling well and it is a mystery to me?
You may be asking that question yourself right now. But therein lies the beauty and value of this mysterious human social structure.
Glued together by sacrificing love, initiated by the parents, the family becomes the anvil where character traits and genuine identities are forged. Thriving together through their pains and difficulties, a great movie is shaped by the shared ordinariness and domestic mundanity of real family living.
Finally, kudos to all the working husbands who have surrendered their ATM cards to their wives and pray every day that their wives will give them their daily allowance. You are real folks!