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Asog

Seán Devlin, Canada, Philippines 2023, 99 Min., OV with English subs, DCP

Climate change, a pageant queen, chosen kinship, and Filipino mythology including Babaylan, the traditional non-conforming healer and oceanic origin of humans: Asog is a road movie that brings together a variety of topics and protagonists from across the interconnected archipelago. A former teacher adopts her former student to become her apprentice when she journeys to the Philippines’ Miss Pageant Competition. Together with the native population from various islands, they discover what they share in common: something has been taken from them, be it natural resources or a sense of belonging and family. This inspires them to turn inwards and ask, “what am I here for?”, resulting in the union between queer performers and local natives against capitalist landlords. Asog shows how queer liberation lies not in mere gender diversity or rainbow flags, but in liberation for all. (XP)

ASOG, Sean Devlin