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‘Iadya Mo Kami’: Is it anti-priest?


ANTI-PRIEST – Some people have the impression that Mel Chionglo’s “Iadya Mo Kami” is anti-religion as it tackles the plight of a Catholic priest who broke the vow of celibacy, played by indie king Allen Dizon. Diana Zubiri portrays the woman who fell in love with the priest who bore her a child.

Direk Mel says he was inspired to do the movie when he talked to a friend, actually a priest, who said the primary problem of men in cloth in the Philippines is celibacy. Those who have families, girlfriends, and children. He and writer Ricky Lee focused on the predicament of a priest exiled in a far-flung parish as penance for his sin of the flesh.

Now, is “Iadya Mo Kami” anti-priest? On the contrary, it is sympathetic to and understanding of priests caught between serving God and turning family men. Priests, after all, are only human, getting lonely and frustrated and eventually succumbing to the call of the flesh.

There are also instances when priests turn to alcohol or join rebel groups.

By the way, direk Mel who comes from a prominent family in Quezon, is educated in Catholic schools, Maryknoll Academy in Lucena City and Ateneo de Manila.

QUIET ROLE – Unlike roles in, say “Lauriana” or “Magkakabaung,” where flambuoyant acting was called for, “Iadya Mo Kami” requires quiet, subdued performance. Direk Mel told Allen the priest shows turmoil through facial expressions, “may lungkot sa mata.”

“I am happy because Allen is a very receptive actor and is open to his director’s intentions. Ibang-iba siya rito,” says direk Mel.

“Iadya Mo Kami” is competing at the Filipino New Cinema Section of the ongoing (June 29-July 10) World Premieres Film Festival Philippines. Gala premiere night is on July 3, Sunday, 8 p.m., at SM Megamall Cinema 6.

Produced by Baby Go and co-starring Ricky Davao, Aiko Melendez, Alan Paule, Ana Feleo, Jess Evardone, Brian Arda, and Rolando Inocencio. Plus the special participation of Mr. Eddie Garcia as the Bishop.