| Mes De Guzman|
| Ilocano, English (subtitle)|
September 18, 2013 (2013-09-18) (CineFilipino Film Festival)
September 25, 2013 (2013-09-25) (Wide release)
Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti Wikipedia
Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti (lit: "The Story of Mabuti") is a 2013 Filipino drama film and the official entry to the first CineFilipino Film Festival. Not to be confused with the Filipino literary classic by Genoveva Edroza-Matute, De Guzman’s film is actually a morality tale about Mabuti, a faith healer who maintains a positive outlook in life despite her poverty. But that was until she found herself in a moral dilemma after accidentally finding a bag containing P5 million in cash that could bring an end to her family’s problems.
The film was the first collaboration of the award winning actress Nora Aunor and the award winning director Mes de Guzman. The film was shot entirely in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. The dialogue of the film is entirely in Ilocano, to give the film its authenticity with English subtitles.
The film was also top-grosser of the first CineFilipino Film Festival.
Mabuti de la Cruz, is a 58-year-old healer who lives in poverty-stricken Sitio Kasinggan in Nueva Vizcaya with her surly mother, Guyang (Josephina Estabillo), luckless son Ompong (Arnold Reyes), loveless daughter Angge (Mara Lopez), and her four fatherless granddaughters. Although she came from the impoverished family, Mabuti still look up life in a positive way. Life is hard, but that doesn’t stop the cash-strapped but cheerful grandmother from basking in the simple pleasures of barrio life. Life was always simple for Mabuti until an unexpected twist changed her perception and found herself in a moral dilemma.
One day, Mabuti received a letter demanding payment for an overdue loan compels her to take the five-hour trip to the big city to ask for financial reprieve. Mabuti needed to mortgage their land when Ompong was going abroad to work. On her way back home, she met a friendly stranger named Nelia on the bus who entrusts a bag to her and runs off, only to be killed by the military. Mabuti was so confused of what happened but kept the bag that was entrusted to her. On the way home, she decided to take a peek on what was inside of the bag and to her surprised she saw bundles of money, that she has never seen before. Mabuti suffers a crisis of conscience after she comes upon a bag of money—millions of pesos, at that. She is torn between surrendering it to the authorities and using it to solve the problems that her family faces.Nora Aunor as Mabuti de la Cruz
Sue Prado as Nelia
Mara Lopez as Lucia de la Cruz
Arnold Reyes as Ompong de la Cruz.
Josephina Estabillo as Guyang
in Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti that the actress redeems her stature and the command of her vast talent. The performance is shorn of affectation and is nearly flawless, from the subtle movement of neck and eye to wailing by her mother's death bed. At this point, melodrama flirts with melancholy, tragedy with the realism of soap opera, an uncanny liaison that takes us to the most fraught of ties, the most alienating of emotions, and an emergent tone and terrain of affection. Mabuti succeeds at opening up spaces to ponder the fraught issues of faith and responsibility well-served by the restrained performances of its supporting cast.
- Jojo Devera, Film CriticYou don’t want to miss the CineFilipino entry, “Ang Kwento ni Mabuti,” if only for Nora Aunor, whose peerless, award-worthy portrayal and magnetic presence give director Mes de Guzman’s visually and thematically compelling drama a spare but forceful elegance—and its reason for being! - Rito P. Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept 21, 2013
Director Mes de Guzman has succeeded to create a charming fairy tale with modern-day characters and situations. There is a whimsical element about the interplay of harsh realities of live with fate and destiny that will make the audience smile. - Fred Hawson, Film blogger'
1st CineFilipino film Festival, Manila, Philippines
The 20th Festival International des Cinémas d'Asie | Festival du Film Asiatique de Vesoul "Cinemas d'Asie" (11-18 Feb 2014), France
6Th Cinema Rehiyon, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (February 18–22, 2014)s