directed by Wester Demandante
Narrative Short | 2018 | USA | 13 min | Cebuano, Tagalog, English
“Kaaway,” which means enemy in a couple Filipino dialects, is a story set in the mid ‘90s of the U.S. and focuses on two 11-year-old Filipino boys. Jonathan was born and raised in the U.S., while Calag was born and raised in the Philippines. After getting into a fight at school, they are forced to spend the day at the same house and the discord is inescapable. The film's central themes are assimilation, shame, and masculinity.
Wester Demandante is a Filipino-American filmmaker who is very passionate about positively representing groups of people who have been historically underrepresented. Watching movies and TV had a huge impact on the way he grew up, though he later realized that he rarely saw people that looked like him on screen (and if he did, they were usually negatively stereotyped). This lack of representation had a negative influence on how he viewed himself, his culture, and his physical features. Wester doesn't want this to be the reality of how people of color interact with media. He hopes his films can take steps towards changing that.