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Directed by Brillante Mendoza

Philippines 2012 100 mins. In Tagalog, Sinama, Tausug, Arabic, English

Following the fortunes of a humble Muslim fisherman and his wife, this lyrical tale of love and beauty questions how far someone will go to fulfill their social destiny and dreams. Shaleha, an aging midwife unable to bear her own child, embarks on a quest to find a second wife for her husband who can bear him the child they so desperately want. Set in the remote archipelago of Tawi-Tawi, Shaleha’s quest provides a backdrop for an intimate portrait of a Bajau community that survives off the sea that surrounds them. The daily rituals of the women weaving colorful straw mats, the political unrest in the town, and the elaborate ceremonial events such as a local marriage are captured with a timeless perfection. Winner of the Cinema Critics’ Prize at the Venice Film Festival and the Best Director and Best Actress Prizes at the Manila Film Festival.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.