GRACELAND, the latest release from Drafthouse Films, opens at Vintage Park and Mason Park this weekend. The film, the second from director Ron Morales, is a tense, nasty little thriller shot in the Philippines. When mistaken identity leads to a violent kidnapping, a chauffeur’s daughter is taken and he must trick a corrupt politician into putting up the ransom. The chauffeur's desperate race to get his daughter back puts him in danger from both sides of the law.
Corruption - both moral and legal - complicates things in GRACELAND - a film unafraid to explore some of the uglier corners of the Philippines. The film shines a light on the unfortunate, but all too real, child prostitution problem that still blemishes society. Morales’ film skirts in and out of the shadows – weaving an unpredictable tale of redemption where, perhaps, no redemption is deserved. Morales' film exists in a world where not even a child's innocence is safe from the horrors of the world. But - as long as there are fathers who will fight through hell itself for the safety of their children - perhaps there is hope.
Morales shot the film in two weeks – leading to many 22-hour work days. These filming conditions certainly helped the actors to deliver the frenzied, desperate performances that help sell GRACELAND's stakes. Lead actor Arnold Reyes, known in the Philippines primarily for his work playing bad boy characters, didn’t get a lot of sleep during the film’s production – but this suited him perfectly for his portrayal of a father racing against time to save his daughter from the sins of his past.
Tickets are now available for GRACELAND. The film plays through Thursday, May 2.