Tioseco-Bohinc Film Series: CAMEROON LOVE LETTER (FOR SOLO PIANO) Review
A Westerner (Gertjan
Zuilhof, voiced by Lourd de Veyra) travels to
These are the focal points
of the point-and-shoot camera that serves as vessel for memories that are
insignificant enough to be discarded from the mind over some time.
There are two letters. One is read. The other infrequently appears on screen. One is written by the man addressed to his woman, who left him, making him decide to end his life. As read, it echoes both the intoxicating charms of falling in love and the damned hangover of losing the intoxication to indifference. It aches with reminiscence and aches some more with the thought that a reply is not forthcoming for the letter is meant to be read when geographic distance is not the only factor that separates the former lovers but death. The other is written by the woman, presumably right before leaving her man. It reeks of rationalization for falling in love and falling out of it. Romantic and anti-romantic clichés abound, it burns like a bitch because the words resonate with only the most painful of truths.
The two letters are presented as if they were brutal exchanges in a lover's quarrel where one adamantly wants out of the relationship while the other pleads for a second, third, fourth chance. Just by the way they are presented and the reflected dispositions of the letter-writers, it already predicts the incurable distance that plagues their love, or whatever remains of it. Clearly, these are two lovers on opposing ends. Such is the inevitability of heartbreak, and because of that, the inevitability of painful empathizing to the melancholy of love lost.
Khavn dela Cruz accompanies the film with live music from an electric piano. The mastermind conjures notes from his instrument in a succession that creates cords and melodies that emphasize the subtle and not-so-subtle emotional tones of the film. It is a score, all at once beautiful, haunting, infuriating, whimsical and lovely, that dissipates as soon as the screening ends, only to remain a memory that wafts quietly alongside the incongruence of the jovial images and the hurtful words of the two letters that make up the vaporous narrative.
Distance is love's greatest foe. It is love lost's greatest companion.
(Cross-published in Lessons from the School of Inattention)