“One of the specialties of Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival — continuing through May 19 — is showing films from the seldom-seen middle tier of Asian film industries.
Though they labor in the shadows of international film powers like Japan and South Korea, the Philippines, in particular, seems to have developed a vibrant film culture all its own. An excellent example of this, “The Coin Bearer” will be shown on May 16 and 17 at Melwood Screening Room in Oakland.
“The Coin Bearer” is about a family that makes its living from the curious practice of “sakla,” a gambling card game that’s legal only during a wake. It’s a way for families to raise money for the expenses of the deceased, so the authorities (mostly) look the other way. ”