Saturday, February 04, 2012

Which fork is used for what?

That question expresses a dilemma many diners wrestle with at some point when faced with the dozen or so utensils in a restaurant that's not of the kitchenette kind. The contents of the plate later on may be the same -- sustenance -- but the difference lies primarily in the care with which the chow... er, the food is presented and consumed. The whole table set-up in a fine dining restaurant may spell sophistication, luxury or opulence, but what can really be said of it is that the setup is well-thought-out and carefully prepared and not haphazardly done.

That last part can also be said of the whole affair that a dad executed in "Fine Dining," a short film conceptualized and directed by Lance Katigbak, a Broadcast Communication major at the University of the Philippines. Instead of expensive dinner plates, silverware and wine goblets, there is plastic tableware. Even the food is as basic as a meal in a poor neighborhood can get. But sans fine china and elegant linen, there is the care that goes into preparing the whole setup; it is, after all, a gift to a loved one. And just as Lance stated in an interview for an article earlier this year, "poverty doesn’t have to be a hindrance to be able to do loving acts. "

One wonderful recent development is that this 18-year-old student was recognized for "Fine Dining" at the Manhattan International Film Festival in January, winning the People's Choice Award over 14 other entries from different countries (more details here). What? A movie with no sex, blood, gore and exaggerations of socio-political conditions of any sort was applauded and given recognition? There is hope in the world after all.

Anyone who is not from the Philippines and who has not had a chance to spend more than a day or two in this country will be unable to fully appreciate the details of this film. watch it just the same -- it may yet serve another purpose besides inspiration in the technical sense. Who knows? It may afford you a deeper (or initial) insight into the lives of people who make do with extremely less than what you're accustomed to and yet give of themselves amid the poverty. Even if it's merely through carefully prepared meal of instant noodles done with love and devotion.

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