- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 25 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: March 9, 2010
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Koch Vision
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.78
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - Tagalog
- Subtitles - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Box Office - 01/01/2009
3.5 star out of 5 -- "[An] overwhelmingly tactile experience that should further cement the prolific filmmaker's reputation."
New York Times - 01/30/2009
"Gentle, bawdy and at times rambunctiously, ticklishly rude....A story about a dilapidated movie theater and the fractured family that is trying not to disintegrate further inside its derelict walls."
Filipino director Brillante Mendoza brings a frank, gritty immediacy to SERBIS, a multi-character, day-in-the-life portrait of a family-run movie house in the Philippines. Only this isn't your typical movie house. It's actually a downtrodden venue that shows graphic double features and allows the clientele to make their own sexual connections in the dark shadows. Today is a very important day, for Nanay Flor, the family matriarch, is going to discover if she won a years-in-the-making bigamy case against her husband. Meanwhile, her children are involved in dramatic situations of their own. Alan has just learned troubling news about his girlfriend, and Nayda is married but attracted to her cousin Ronald. As the day develops and the verdict comes down, the Pinedas struggle to focus on the daily tasks associated with the theater, even as their own personal conflicts threaten to overwhelm them.
Shot on video, SERBIS recalls films from the Dogme 95 movement. Mendoza and screenwriter Armando Lao have clearly constructed these dramatic situations, yet they are shot on consumer video with such energy that the film often feels like a documentary. Mendoza pulls no punches, showing multiple scenes of behind-the-scenes sexuality that are even more graphic than the X-rated behavior unfolding on the cavernous theater's silver screen. SERBIS provides a realistic, unflinching glimpse into this hyper-sexualized world.