A sassy, flamboyant 12-year-old boy falls for a cop in the slums of Manila. “No less than its precocious protagonist, the film is alarming, endearing, and utterly unflappable.” — Village Voice
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Maximo is a 12-year-old boy who enjoys being a girl. In the slums of Manila, that’s apparently no big deal. He happily keeps house for his grateful widowed father and his two older brothers, small-time street hoods. If Maximo’s sexuality is not an issue, the object of his first great passion is: he falls for a cop. Maximo’s white knight is a handsome, straight-arrow newcomer to the big smoke, intent on apprehending scam artists and petty thieves – such as Maximo’s loving badass dad and brothers. This surprising, vivid, no-budget slice of social realism embeds Maximo’s getting of wisdom convincingly in the 24/7 scramble of barrio life.
“An incongruous vision of lipsticked, hip-swiveling fabulousness, 12-year-old Maximo flounces through his Manila shantytown, a beacon of beatific flamboyance in the gritty (but mostly tolerant) ‘hood… Auraeus Solito’s feature début confronts the taboo of pre-teen sexuality with extraordinary openness. No less than its precocious protagonist, the film is alarming, endearing, and utterly unflappable.” — Dennis Lim, Village Voice