Baka Bukas (2016): Thoughts

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Baka Bukas (2016), directed and written by Samantha Lee, is about a lesbian named Alex (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) and her best friend (Louise Delos Reyes).

Culturally Realistic
I like how evident this film shows the struggles of lesbians specifically. Especially filipino lesbians. By definition, the tagalog of lesbian is lesbiyana, but stereotypically, lesbians are defined as “tibo”, or “tomboy”, which was shown in the film. Both those terms refer to a certain type of lesbian – a masculine kind. There is no tagalog word for a feminine or girly lesbian. But this film just showed two of them.

On Discrimination
I think there’s this stigma when it comes to girl-to-girl kissing scene on film. It’s either the highlight of the film, or the downfall of it. While Alex was proposing her project “Manila Bae”, the group definitely thought it was going to be the downfall. Heterosexual momol scenes don’t face this kind of discrimination.

On Parents in LGBT-themed Films
Alex’s mom coming out of nowhere to comfort her reminded me of “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2”. One important ‘ingredient’ in the “typical blockbuster movie” formula was to have the protagonist’s parents comfort him/her at a time of need.

However, out of all of Alex’s relationships with friends, families, co-workers, lovers, etc., the most unconditional kind was with her mother. Most LGBT-themed films always show the parents being very hateful and homophobic – and it hurts because it’s true. But seeing Alex’s mom love Alex so unconditionally, and be so comfortable with the idea of her daughter being lesbian, really really tugged at my heartstrings – and it hurts because it rarely happens.

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