Ian Gamazon as Adam
Dominique Gonzalez as Dana
Cavite (CAH-VEE-TAY) is a gritty indie film based in the Philippians involving terrorists, innocent pawns and religious differences. The film serves as the gutsy eye opening vision of the absolute squalid conditions that exist in various parts of this country. This effort from fledgling co-directors Neill Dela Llana and Ian Gamazon focuses on Adam (Ian Gamazon), a 32-year-old immigrant from the Philippines living and working in California whose life suddenly takes a radical tailspin. An urgent call from family sends him traveling home to his mother and sister back in Cavite City in the Philippines. Upon arrival he discovers an envelope containing a mysterious cell phone that has been placed into his backpack along with photos of his mother and sister bound and gagged by terrorists. A strange yet ruthless voice leads Adam to his first clue, the severed finger of Adam’s sister along with some coins in a packet of cigarettes that sets the tone of a master plan to use Adam as a pawn in a sinister plot.
The voice explains that Adam’s father had identified several members of this faction of terrorists and had been paid $75,000, information that led to his death soon after. Over the course of the film Adam is taunted with the threat of his family meeting a horrible death. He must over come many obstacles to ever see them alive again, some which test his moral fiber to its core. The film thrusts a gripping portrayal of Adam having to come to terms with his identity as a Muslim while being used as an instrument of destruction for a Filipino terrorist outfit in hopes of saving his own family.
The film was well done considering the entire cast and crew consisted of the 2 directors and a local guide filming over 10 days and without any government assistance or knowledge of the film. The pairs usage of unpaid locals and real-life scenes of poverty stricken shanty towns existing on the edge lakes of raw sewage allows the film to accurately depict a society broken apart by cultural and religious differences that lead to violent results. Originally the lead role was not intended to be played by a male much less by the director Gamazon but in true renegade indie film fashion the team brought to the screen a character with all the anguish and pain that few actors could have provided. This film captures the essence of independent filmmaking by working with a non-existent budget and delivering a worthwhile film with an amazing message.