Neal Tan’s new film is many things. From the actors who portray beautiful characters to the picturesque backdrop of the story, and from the lessons it teaches the audience, to the inspiring lines and situations everyone can resonate with, Tan’s newest film outing opens many colors of human life and courage.
Entitled 40 days, the full-length feature follows the story of a woman who travels by foot from Manila to Pola, Mindoro just to be with her daughter and ailing mother.
The story unfolds during the onset of the pandemic when lockdowns and quarantines were strictly implemented by the government.
“This film is all about a person’s sacrifice. She’s a nanny who was sent home by her employers to Pola Mindoro to take care of her only daughter and her sick mother,” Tan shared with Manila Standard Entertainment during a special junket held in the quaint municipality in Mindoro.
“With just a few hundreds in her pocket, she decided to keep the money so she would have something to give her family once she arrives in Pola. But because of lockdown and travel suspension, she had no choice but to walk from Manila to Mindoro surviving solely on the kindness of people she encountered along the way,” Tan added.
We personally joined Tan and the cast in the film’s special screening held at a gymnasium in Pola. It was hosted by the film’s lead star Ina Alegre, who is the current mayor of the municipality. The film also stars James Blanco, Cataleya Surio, Michelle Vito and Mygz Molino.
“It was a very tiring film to do,” Ina Alegre, who’s also seeking reelection, admitted. “I was doing the film while performing my duties as a public servant. But seeing the final product made me feel that everything’s worth it.”
“I want the viewers to see the sacrifices of my character. I want them to get inspired,” she added.
The hospitable and amiable mayor, who agreed to do the film after being convinced by Tan, believes that people will have a great takeaway after watching the movie.
“The film teaches us that Filipinos, even if we had nothing, would still go the extra mile to extend our hands to those in need. This pandemic taught us that no matter how hard life is, we still take care of the people around us,” Ina, whose character in the story endured almost a million steps just to reach her destination, said.
From ComGuild Productions, 40 Days was shot on location in Manila, Tagaytay, and Pola. It’s a passion project of Neal Tan and Ina Alegre which they describe as a movie that will touch everyone’s heart.
“That’s the reason why we wanted to submit the film to international film festivals so that more people will be touched by the story. Hopefully, we can have the film on Netflix, too,” the actress and public servant ended.