THE PORTRAIT

ANG LARAWAN

By Loy ARCENAS

VIM YAPAN / ALEM CHUA PRODUCTIONS - as PROD

Historical - Completed 2017

Set before World War II, the film tells of the plight of Candida and Paula, daughters of painter Lorenzo the Great who are left with a perilous decision, to sell or not to sell the last painting of their father. tackles the conflict between pragmatism and art amidst materialism and consumerism.

Festivals
& Awards

Tokyo International Film Festival 2017
Asian Future
Metro Manila Film Festival 2017
Main Competition. Best Picture, Actress, Production Design, Music, Special Jury Prize, Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Heritage Award
Udine Far East Film Festival 2018
Main Competition
    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Historical, Art - Culture, Musical
    • Countries
    • PHILIPPINES
    • Languages
    • FILIPINO
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 124 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Loy ARCENAS
    • Writer(s)
    • Rolando TINIO
    • Producer(s)
    • Girlie RODIS (Culturtain Musicat Productions), Celeste LEGASPI-GALLARDO (Culturtain Musicat Productions)
    • Synopsis
    • Set in Old Manila before World War II, the film tells of the plight of sisters Candida and Paula Marasigan, daughters of high-profile painter Don Lorenzo the Great whose artistry has afforded his family a life of luxury in the past. The Marasigans are well known for their parties for Manila’s high society. These parties, known as tertulias in Spanish, revolve around discussions of politics, literature and the arts.

      Unfortunately, Lorenzo has not produced a painting for a long time so the family is in financial trouble. The unmarried sisters rely on the support of siblings Manolo and Pepang who feel no nostalgia for their former lifestyle. The two would rather sell the ancestral home and have the sisters live with them.

      To help in the upkeep of the house, Candida and Paula take in a boarder, Tony Javier, a good looking but shady character who works as a piano player at the local vaudeville.

      After a long time, Don Lorenzo finally paints a self-portrait, “Portrait of the Filipino,” as his final gift to the two sisters. Don Lorenzo’s masterpiece becomes the buzz of Manila’s high society when a French art collector wrote about the painting. It also attracted the curiosity of journalists, politicians, art collectors and other unscrupulous personalities.

      Candida and Paula reject all offers to buy the painting. They cannot bear to part with the artwork; they feel guilty because their father tried to commit suicide after finishing the painting.

      There is one person who may be able to sway the sisters’ minds: the crass but charming Tony who has an American buyer willing to purchase the portrait for an unbelievable price. Tired of being poor, the more astute Candida is aware of Tony’s intentions and maneuvers the situation, offering her sister Paula as a sacrificial lamb to the hungry wolf.

      Ang Larawan tackles the conflict between pragmatism and art, an ode to the passing of the world of truth and beauty and a celebration of the tenacity of the spirit amidst the rise of materialism and consumerism.