Santa Mesa

Saturday, Sep 27th, 2008 - 6:00 PM

Venue: Freer & Sackler Galleries - Smithsonian

Advance (Online)PriceDoor SalesPrice
Senior 65+/ StudentsSenior 65+/ Students
Group (min 6 tickets)

Santa Mesa

Directed by Ron Morales

Running Time: 86 minutes
Year: 2007
Narrative Fiction
Language(s): Tagalog, English w/ subtitles


Left orphaned following the sudden death of his mother, 12-year-old Hector is forced to move from the United States to the Philippines, a country he knows nothing about, to live with his grandmother, a woman he has never met.  Lost in unfamiliar settings and stuck in a house where the simplest communication is a major struggle, Hector looks outward in order to find people with whom to connect.

Falling in with a group of street kids, Hector gets caught stealing from a photographer, Jose, who decides to give him an opportunity to make up for his misdeed.  As he is taught to shoot photos by Jose, Hector takes a closer look into the lives of the subjects he photographs. As a result, the young boy unexpectedly gains insight into the challenges of human relationships, making unforeseen connections and becoming deeply involved with the people he meets.

With this directorial debut, Ron Morales painstakingly captures the raw beauty of daily life in Santa Mesa, a district in the capital city of the Philippines, and builds a mesmerizing narrative dealing with clashing cultures, family, and forgiveness.