Joaquin (Polo Ravales), an unassuming fisherman, is forced to confront his homosexuality when his sex-starved wife Cynthia (Althea Vega) returns from her overseas job eager to get pregnant....
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Joaquin (Polo Ravales), an unassuming fisherman, is forced to confront his homosexuality when his sex-starved wife Cynthia (Althea Vega) returns from her overseas job eager to get pregnant. His young and impulsive lover, Waldo (Joseph Bitangcol), flees to Manila in disgust. After a month of hesitation, Joaquin leaves his wife to follow Waldo. His search takes him on a seamy yet colorful trip through Manila's gay underbelly. He discovers Waldo's dangerous flirtation with Rufo (Emilio Garcia), a bisexual rogue cop who holds the clue to Waldo's disappearance. Rufo lures Joaquin into his home and introduces him to his submissive wife, Beng (Jean Garcia). A sadist who beats up Beng regularly, Rufo turns Joaquin into a prisoner and sex slave - like he did to Waldo. When Joaquin is finally reunited with Waldo, he discovers that Rufo is about to sell them like fish to an international sex trafficking ring, along with his personal harem of male and female captives. With Beng's help, the two ... Written by
"Walang Kawala," or 'No Escape' in English, is powerful and downbeat Filipino cinema; an unflinching look into the world of Human Traffiking and sexual slavery. This might be familiar ground, but "Walang Kawala" tells the story in a very unique way; a handsome guy leaves his small, beautiful village, and travels to the decadent city of Manila, a place known for prostitution and a popular destination for "sex tourism." The fact that Waldo leaves home because he feels rejected by the other man that he is in love with, makes this unique. Joaquim is meanwhile trapped in an unhappy marriage with his sexy, but overbearing wife. When his friend disappears, Joachim realizes that he loves his friend too, and travels to Manila in search of his missing lover. Joachim's journey becomes more disturbing and treacherous by the minute, as he traces his innocent and naive mate's path, which leads him to a strip club, and finally, to the door of one of the most evil characters ever portrayed in cinema. Rufo is a crooked, corrupt cop, who derives enjoyment from sadistically beating his wife, and savagely raping men at gunpoint. A very sad and tense tale of love and loss unfolds, as Joachim must endure the idea that his lover might have lived through the same torture. The film becomes quite brutal, and sadistic, and is probably not for all tastes. I was impressed that the film makers did not focus on the fact that the two main characters happened to be gay, as this is not at all a film about homosexuality. The love that the two
guys have for each other merely adds to the intensity and the urgency of this story. This is progressive film-making, and a very mature and intelligent film that somehow managed to avoid becoming mere exploitation. Tight editing and quick pacing make this one exciting cinema as well. This is probably a rare title, but there is a fine German DVD available, that offers the original Tagalog language with English subtitles. It is rated 18+ here in Germany, and the rating is certainly deserved.
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