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The Bet Collector (2006)
"Kubrador" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  12 January 2007 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 149 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 16 critic

In this starkly realistic narrative, director Jeffrey Jeturian presents a captivating portrait of a once-proud woman, haunted by memories of a dead son and hounded by the police, and her fragile and lonely life as a "kurador".

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Title: The Bet Collector (2006)

The Bet Collector (2006) on IMDb 7.2/10

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21 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gina Pareño ...
Amy
Fonz Deza ...
Eli
Nanding Josef ...
Fr. Buboy
Soliman Cruz ...
Chief of Police
Joe Gruta ...
Table Manager
Domingo Landicho ...
Tatay Nick
Neil Ryan Sese ...
Jeepney Driver
Miguel Castro ...
Car Driver
Nico Antonio ...
Baste
Jess Evardone ...
Kahero
Teresa Jamias ...
Juvy (as Tess Jamias)
Amy Robles ...
Clarita
Jaja Bolivar ...
Tokne
Ran del Rosario ...
Eric
Roence Santos ...
Lydia
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Storyline

In this starkly realistic narrative, director Jeffrey Jeturian presents a captivating portrait of a once-proud woman, haunted by memories of a dead son and hounded by the police, and her fragile and lonely life as a "kurador".

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Drama

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Release Date:

12 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Porfyro feggari  »

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Trivia

The movie so far has won 4 international prizes: 2006 FIPRESCI Prize, 2006 Moscow International Film Festival Best Picture, Best Actress (Gina Pareno) and FIPRESCI Prize, 8th Osian-Cinefan International Film Festival (New Delhi, India) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If a Great Filipino Film Is Made But No One Watches It, Does It Still Exist?
9 December 2007 | by (Philippines and United States) – See all my reviews

We Filipinos are ashamed of our contemporary national cinema and love to complain about how horrible it is. "It hasn't been the same since the grand old days of Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, and co.," we say. (These 'grand old days' were in the 70's and 80's.) Then we turn around and watch "Chuck and Larry", seriously consider Ashton Kutcher a good actor, and think the world of bubblegum-pop-singer-turned-actress Mandy Moore.

Bear with my bitter(sweet) grumbling. It's just quite frustrating. If a great Filipino film is made but nobody watches it, does it still exist?

Jeffrey Jeturian's "Kubrador" is a landmark film that a lot of Filipinos have probably heard of but few have seen. It garnered a lot of press from traveling the international film festival circuit, albeit not the major ones, and winning some awards both locally and internationally. In fact, it is one of the most-publicized non-commercial films in recent memory, second only to Auraeus Solito's much-beloved "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros". Both films, in my opinion, are cornerstones in contemporary Philippine cinema.

While there have been attempts to resuscitate the industry, only a handful have made significant marks. Names like Crisaldo Pablo, Mel Chionglo, Jose Javier Reyes, Michiko Yamamoto, and Lav Diaz and titles like "Dekada 70", "Muro-Ami", "Babae sa Bubungang Lata", Jeturian's own "Pila-Balde", "Jologs", "Panaghoy sa Suba", "Bagong Buwan", and "Batang West Side" come to mind. It really wasn't until 2005's "Maximo" though when things started to get really interesting. For me "Maximo" signaled the possibility that there could be more to this cinema than Brocka and Bernal. "Kubrador" assured me that "Maximo" wasn't just a fluke.

Veteran actress Gina Parreno defines "Kubrador" and I'm not just referring to the fact that she is the titular 'kubrador' here, the bet collector. It's impossible to imagine this film without her. With the histrionics school of acting deeply entrenched in the industry, Parreno defies with a very low-key performance. Tough, caring, emotional yet too busy with life to stop and cry, sociable yet occasionally abrasive, annoyingly stubborn and bossy at times, she plays the typical matriarch, Amy (ah-mee--the Filipino pronunciation). She is endearing because she is real. Jeturian expertly weaves her story amidst the maze of slums. Or is it the other way around? The story of the slums intertwined with hers? Cinema verite style, we follow her as she plies her route as her neighborhood's 'jueteng' (an illegal numbers game favored by the poor) collector. It is the view into another world here that gives "Kubrador" most of its magic. The ordinary is the extraordinary.

The acting is superb and amazingly realistic as to be almost documentary-like, from the leads right down to the extras, with a negligible slip-up or two (which, ironically, includes Johnny Manahan, an occasional actor and one of the main players in ABS-CBN/Star Cinema, one of the 2 biggest film studios in the country). For me, some of the scenes are already instant classics: the apo's (grandchild) 'concert', the funeral, and the last few minutes of the film.

"Kubrador" may be too quiet or too depressing, too poor, too ugly, for some, but exactly why it should be watched by all, Filipinos especially, even if--especially since--this is the farthest thing Ashton Kutcher and Mandy Moore would star in.


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