3 women, a scandal, and the search for truth
MANILA, Philippines – All stories have more than one side.
The whole story often remains untold. The so-called “truth” may come in different versions. The question is: who will you believe?
Movies always tell of some form of truth. Some try to show as many sides of the story as possible. For Filipinos who love suspense and speculation, films are the perfect medium to expose untold stories and make them as entertaining as they are in real life.
Whistleblower, a socio-political thriller starring Angelica Panganiban, Cherry Pie Picache, and Nora Aunor, was the opening film for the 2nd CineFilipino Film Festival at Resorts World Manila last March 15.
The film narrates the story of 3 women: an accountant, a businesswoman and a journalist who become involved in a political scandal. Their stories unfold with their own versions of the truth and what makes them believe in that truth.
According to director Adolf Alix Jr., the film has been in the works for 3 years. He worked with producer Tony Gloria, calling the collaboration “a perfect match.”
Alix shares: “We’ve been talking to Mr. Gloria about this concept because he [has] always wanted to make a socio-political thriller. When we met and I discussed this idea about 3 women who are embroiled in a scandal, he really liked the idea.”
Gloria adds: “After I did Crying Ladies, I wanted to do another story, but a serious one this time. I just couldn’t get the right story formula then. But I was already fixated on 3 women. I don’t know but it just seems more interesting to have three women and then their lives are suddenly intertwined.”
Screenwriter Rody Vera was also pulled in for the film. “First draft palang he got it,” Gloria shares. “I was always fixated on a political thriller because I really wanted it to be entertaining. And it’s fast. Within an hour and 30 minutes we are able to tell the story. I think when you tackle serious things like this, the audience must be entertained for the whole length. And there is something more to this film of course.”
No stranger to untold stories
Just like in Whistleblower, the Philippines has witnessed a number of scandals involving the government and its officials. Justice is slow-moving and many cases remain unresolved for years.
We have the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, where 58 journalists and civilians were slaughtered and buried in a mass grave. Justice remains yet to be served to the victims of the one of the most violent election-related cases in the nation’s history.
Also making headlines recently is the $81-M bank heist involving RCBC and Bangladesh Bank. It is believed that hackers infiltrated the Bangladesh Bank account and facilitated the transfer of the large sum into 4 fake accounts opened in the Philippines last year. Senate hearings have just begun this month.
For these events, crucial details and facts remain elusive. But sooner or later, the whole story needs to be told. The film hopes to inspire citizens to fight for the truth, no matter what.
Commitment from start to finish
For Whistleblower, Alix and Gloria managed to get esteemed actors who were willing to appear in bit roles. The cameos made the production more interesting and exciting for both the audience and the main actors themselves.
“In a film like this even the minor roles are very important. They have to be credible as well,” Alix says.
It was like a reunion on and off the set, as most of the actors and film crew have worked together in the previous projects. Alix and Gloria remarked that all actors, regardless of their role, committed to perform at their very best from start to finish. Until the film reached its post-production stage, each member of the team made sure to do justice to all the hard work everyone else put in.
“They were feeding from each other’s talent, which is great,” says Gloria. “It’s one of the best things about working on this film. It’s very inspiring.”
One of the main messages of Whistleblower is the need to break the cycle of people feeling victimized in whatever struggle they go through.
“You have to choose. You have to act and do your part. If you don’t do your part the cycle [of victimization] will continue,” Alix says.
Whistleblower is about truth and deceit. It paints a picture of all-too-familiar politicians who give in to the power of money and betray the trust of the public that they serve.
But its main focus is the journey of 3 strong women whose lives are changed by the film's events. There’s the brain behind a scam that takes the nation by storm; the quiet deputy who slowly becomes enthralled by the power she is given; and the fearless journalist who won’t stop until the entire story is uncovered.
Whose version of the truth will you believe? You’ll have to watch the movie to decide. – Rappler.com
Whistleblower tells the story of a world filled with dirt money and two-faced politicians. Watch out for it in cinemas near you and see the truth unfold. It will be released in theaters on April 6, 2016 nationwide.