“DigpaN Ning Alti” Review
Written and directed by Bor Ocampo
A series of unfortunate events—this short film might be the epitome of just that.
In Digpan Ning Alti, the lives of two families intertwine in a ghastly manner after a neighbor’s dog steals the chicken a man is preparing for dinner. Rage-filled, the man gets in his house to retrieve a .22 calibre rifle and matchbox filled with .22 calibre rounds, supposedly to teach the dog’s owner a lesson. As soon as he gets to the front lawn of his neighbour, he hesitates and gets on his bike instead.
Meanwhile, on another part of town, a boy is making his own preparations for dinner while his brother is trying to make two spiders fight. Their father arrives with firewood, and sends his older son on an errand to get petrol, with the younger brother tagging along.
These people live in a part of Pampanga that migratory birds go to, and the first man with the rifle decides that he should be able to shoot one of the birds to compensate for the chicken he lost. He gets himself a bird, but not without accidentally shooting a boy who just happened to tag along with his brother to buy petrol.
This in turn results with the boy’s father chasing down the man with the rifle with a bladed weapon, and ends up dying after the first man shoots him in self-defence. He then returns home weeping, contemplating the day’s unfortunate events, and nurses a bite from one of the dogs pursuing him.
The older boy is seen dragging the body of his now deceased father into their little shanty, with his brother’s body laid on the dining table. He then grabs his father’s machete, and ends the movie with a scene of him walking in the night, looking for the man who murdered his family.
The film is riveting with its display of absolute bad luck and violent encounters, and the acting’s not half-bad either. The best part about it would be the intense cliffhanger of an ending. For a short film that serves as the prologue of the heavily atmospheric Dayang Asu, it’s quite the shocker.