The premise is deceptively simple, but don’t be fooled: A conversation over brunch between a literature professor and his former student plays out in real time in a quiet Manila restaurant. But what a conversation, and what a cat-and-mouse game between out gay literature teacher Eric and his 20-year-old mentee Lance, an aspiring writer. Over the course of the meal, power dynamics shift, secret relationships are revealed, and at times we may not be sure who is schooling whom.
Writer/director Jun Robles Lana (Gameboys) makes maximum use of a minimal cast and crew. Occasional appearances by a waiter and other diners are the only distractions from the tightly focused two-hander. But as teacher and student, Romnick Sarmenta and Elijah Canlas deliver subtle and engrossing performances, as they gently probe each other’s vulnerabilities and expose both deep wounds and unexpected strengths. It’s a deft and surprising screenplay exploring the way two men of different generations navigate, or conceal, their own identity. Their encounter will spark many a post-film restaurant conversation of its own.
Special guest: director Jun Robles Lana
Presented as part of Frameline47 International Film Festival.