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The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Filipino: 'Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros') is a story about a gay teen who is torn between his love for a young cop and his loyalty to his family. (2005)


Maxi (Nathan Lopez) is a 12-year-old effeminate gay boy who lives in the slums with his father and brothers who are petty thieves. The story primarily revolves around the conflict between his love for handsome young police officer Victor (J. R. Valentin), and his family's illegal livelihood. Neorealist in orientation, the film is a tale of lost innocence and redemption amidst the poverty of Manila's slums.

Maxi behaves like a girl, wearing clips in his hair and bangles on his wrists and even wearing lipstick. He is teased by neighbors and former school friends. His sexuality is, however, fully accepted by his two brothers and by his father. One night he is accosted by two men who attempt to molest him, but his is saved by the appearance of Victor. Victor does not have a girlfriend, and his sexuality is never revealed. He rebuffs Maxi's advances, even when the boy steals a kiss, only affectionately stoking the boy's head.

After Maxi's father is killed by Victor's boss, Maxi resists Victor's attempts to renew their friendship. The closing scene shows Maxi walking past Victor who has parked by the roadside on Maxi's way to school. He ignores Victor as he passes him, hesitates momentarily as he crosses the road, then goes on his way. This last scene is a clever hommage to the final scene of "The Third Man".

The film was the official entry of the Philippines to the 2007 Academy Awards. It holds the distinction of being one of the very few digital films released in 2005 to do well at the tills. It also made the rounds of international film festivals.




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