In Tacloban, the sky clears, and the worst of Typhoon Haiyan has passed. But for Miguel (Daniel Padilla) and his mother, Norma (Charo Santos-Concio), the real ordeal is what comes after. As radios crackle with unconfirmed rumors of another impending storm, Miguel and his girlfriend Andrea (Rans Rifol) search for passage aboard a Manila-bound ship, and Norma wanders off on a quest to find a man from her past amidst the wreckage. Prayers are said, promises are broken. Processions of the living and dead pass them by, often more surreal than somber, challenging our three survivors to make sense out of the seemingly senseless.
Carlo Francisco Manatad, a prolific shorts director, editor, and frequent collaborator of Khavn De La Cruz, blends farce and tragedy in his first feature, WHETHER THE WEATHER IS FINE. Manatad satirizes the absurdity of disaster and the theater of government aid provided to Tacloban in Haiyan’s wake, as well as the role of religion, superstition, and pop culture in spreading fear – or hope. The film is a marvel of production design, and its visual flair is backed up by equally impressive performances from its three leads. It all adds up to one of the most ambitious, provocative, and oddly touching films of the year.
HIFF is proud to nominate this film for the 2021 Kau Ka Hōkū Award.