The Game of Juan’s Life

The Game of Juan’s Life
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The Game of Juan’s Life

Il gioco della vita di Juan si compie nell’arco di poche ore. Di giorno, l’addio all’amato compagno e a Manila: ha deciso di tornare nel villaggio dove è nato. Di notte, l’ultima apparizione nel locale gay dove si è esibito come spogliarellista per sbarcare il lunario. Dallo stesso regista di Antonio’s Secret. Un film sull’arbitrarietà del destino e sulla difficoltà di scegliere.



trailer: The Game of Juan’s Life


“Ang Laro ng Buhay ni Juan” explores two hours in the life of Juan in the big city, who is forced to go back to his hometown Masbate. Juan takes us into his “hole-in-the-wall” shelter in the backstreets of high-rises to meet marginalized Pinoys breaking the survival code with character types like unwed mother Mercy (Angeli Bayani, 2008 Cinemanila’s Asian Best Actress) and his endo lover Noel (Nico Antonio of “Minsan Pa” and “Kubrador” cast, who returns to the big screen after joining Star Magic as a VOIZboys crew).
The film asks whether man’s destiny is presented or self-made. Juan decides to go back to the province to be with his sick mother and not return as he is living a wasted life. He wants to leave so he breaks his decision to Noel. But a raid mars his last show when police take his money and rubbers earned from selling his body so he will not be arrested. As he cannot return to his mother, he is left with the option to return to Noel.
Contrasts play an important part in this film. The day part explores the discreet gay life of Juan and Noel that ends in a no-fuss teary farewell scene. The night part exposes what discreet gays working as sex workers do. Daytime photography is bathed in glaring sun, while nighttime is candlelit as if to hide its dark secrets. The city’s rotting; its survivors may live under miserable circumstances but where they work, there’s a chandelier and a grand staircase — glam witnesses of their glum lives. Ray An and Nico interpret their characters in contrasting style. (

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