Director Rainier (Kean Cipriano), Producer Bingbong (JM de Guzman) and Production Assistant Jocelyn (Cai Cortez) are well-to-do, well-educated film school graduates who are dead set on making an Oscar-worthy film. They believe they have a winning script, the energy and the drive to make their dreams come true.Like most filmmakers they know, they have devised a screenplay that will show the real essence of our culture: Poverty.
In the course of a single day, they brainstorm and exhaust all possible treatment of their project: The story of Mila (Eugene Domingo), a mother from the slums, who out of desperation to survive, has sold her child to a pedophile. As they discuss the possible executions of the story, the movie-within-a-movie gets reborn in Jocelyn’s imagination several times: As a gritty, no frills neo-realist film, as a glossy musical, as an over-the-top melodrama, and as a docudrama using non-actors.
For their last task of the day, they visit the dumpsite for the first time. As filmmakers gunning for authenticity, they get excited with the “beauty” of the squalor around them. Soon enough, they are faced with reality as they come face to face with the real effects of their chosen subject.
The movie is one of the many blockbusters of Domingo, where her talent is always on display but with different dimensions and shades—thus reflecting her versatility at characterizations.
Besides the awards it won, Domingo said Babae will always be memorable because she almost lost her life while doing the movie.
In one scene, Domingo lost her balance as she jumped into a septic tank and bumped her head on one side of it. The scene looked so real, with director Marlon Rivera not at all suspecting that the actress was slowly losing consciousness. He and the others on the set even applauded Domingo for a job well done.
“After the shoot, I was rushed to the emergency room of a hospital but was too embarrassed to say that I fell into a septic tank,” Domingo recalled.
As the most awarded and highest grossing movie in this year’s Cinemalaya, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is also the first festival entry to have its commercial run in over 40 cinemas nationwide. It will be distributed by Star Cinema.