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The Analysis Of The Film "Maximo Oliveros"

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MAXIMO OLIVEROS

Maximo Oliveros, or “Maxi”, is a 12 year old gay boy who lives in a barrio with his father and two older brothers. Despite the young age, Maxi is already open about his sexuality and was lucky enough to be accepted by his own family. He took responsibility of the feminine roles in their household – cooking, doing the laundry, sewing worn out clothes, and such, which is not likely for kids his age. Like him, I also began to hold these kinds of responsibilities in our house at an early age, the only difference is that I am fortunate enough to handle them with convenience. But having to live within the poverty line, it is expected for Maxi to cope with his struggles. One of which is that he’s living with criminals. His father sells phones that are stolen by his brother, kuya Bogs, and the older brother, kuya Boy, eventually became a murderer in the middle of the film.

But in spite of it all, Maxi’s family surrounded him with much love and care. This probably made him do the same as well. He is nurturing towards the people he loves, taking his deceased mother’s place. He also shows compassion, especially to Victor, a new policeman in their town, whom he had developed a crush on. His compassionateness gets conflicted with his loyalty towards his family, now that he involved in both parties. One thing I like about him is that he develops a sense of mindfulness; he is thrown out to a world full of harsh realities that he begins to question if what he sees is right or wrong.

Poverty, which is the base of these harsh realities, is evident throughout the whole film. It is what drives a person who reasons out that crime is the only solution to last a day. There was this scene where Paco, his father, wouldn’t want to risk his health in working in a factory, so he insists Maximo that this is the life for them. Another sign of poverty is that Maximo is deprived of education. He also stated that when he grows up, he would just settle on selling DVDs, unknowingly that they are pirated. His father seems to be a leader of a syndicate and he has associations with corrupted policemen. Victor refers to them as “mga pulis na malalaki ang tiyan”, meaning that these policemen tolerate illegal activities as long as they benefit from it.

There was also an instance where an officer was involved in illegal gambling, he placed his bet on “hueteng”. A new chief was appointed in their district and has taken its toll. Alongside, Victor swept the streets off of crime, thus killing also Maximo’s father. This urged the siblings to begin a new life, leaving their thievery behind and finally sending Maximo to school. Another of these issues is that although Maximo’s sexuality was embraced inside his home, there was an instance where he was harassed by teens on his way home. He was also mocked by policemen when he entered their station. This symbolizes that during that time; homosexuals are deemed to be freaks and unwelcomed in our society.

One character that I like is kuya Bogs, because of overprotectiveness towards Maximo. He was closer to him than their older brother, kuya Boy. He was also supportive of him and was there when Maximo needed his comfort. A character that I didn’t like is kuya Boy. His recklessness brought his brother into jail, and he didn’t even admit to it. There was also a part in the film where Maximo said that after his mother’s death, kuya Boy just felt “lazy” to take care of him. But at the end of the film, it was revealed that kuya Boy is just not that showy of his love for his brothers, he even took part in preparing Maximo’s needs before going to school.

The very beginning of this film had already struck me when ‘My Country, the Philippines’ by Yoyoy Villame was ironically playing while flashing footages of polluted rivers, overpopulated districts, street children and filthy streets. In this song, the Philippines was described to be an endearing sight, but what has been shown is rather the unpleasant truth. Even if this song’s intention was to express the beauty of our country, it symbolizes the cover ups made in the media to hide the faulty systems and to make us overlook what the real issues in our country are. I learned in this film that righteousness always prevails. Living within the poverty line or below is not an excuse for us to do what is unlawful and immoral. In fact, we are the ones to blame with who we choose to lead us. In this story, a change has happened in the family of Maximo. After their father’s death, they have learned their lesson and chose to live a life that is just and free of crime.

This shows that when their father was alive, they do not have the power to oppose his choice of lifestyle, thus following in his footsteps. If I were to change something about this film, I wouldn’t want their father to be dead. Instead, I would like to see a change in his heart like his sons have had ,and be motivated to live up to what his wife might’ve wanted their lives to be. For me, it shows the realization of how a small decision can lead up to bigger possibilities, good or bad, and that we should be critical of how we execute it. I think it would be a good addition in the story since it promotes a sense of self – healing and spiritual transformation.

I like the film as it is. I like how Maxi’s “blossoming” meant that he went from being naïve and ignorant into being a mature and stronger person. I also like how Maximo’s sexuality was accepted in his rather patriarchal family. He was treated as if he was their “unica hija”. If I were to write my own film, the issue I am going to focus on is poverty as well. I want to tackle about how privileged people can get away with anything and how they are much prioritized than less fortunate people. I also want to show how most of these people, especially those who have the power, don’t seem to know how to stoop down from their self – proclaimed superiority.

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