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Islands

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Canada
·
2021

1h 35m

Director Martin Edralin
Starring Rogelio Balagtas, Sheila Lotuaco, Esteban Comilang, Vangie Alcasid

Genre Drama

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Joshua, a middle-aged Filipino-Canadian immigrant, lives with his aging parents and works as a janitor. He is deeply shy and lives a quiet life. However, when his home life suddenly changes and his cousin comes to visit, Joshua finds himself forced to confront a new way of living.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Slashfilm by

Islands is a poignant and engrossing reminder that you're never too old to start living. It's never too late to develop a lust for life.
90

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

There are great things to be found in little packages, and Islands offers tremendous evidence that, if Edralin might ever be given more than the bare minimum of resources, the director will create something gigantic.
80

Screen Daily by Fionnuala Halligan

There’s a cheerful pragmatism to the characters and the piece itself, a reflection and distillation of the caring, musical, religious community in which it is set. Deliberate and unhurried, Islands is also the type of quiet film that happily watches a microwave as it warms chicken adobo for a full minute.
70

The Hollywood Reporter by Inkoo Kang

The script is programmatic to the point that its final shot is fully predictable. But that doesn’t take away from the ending’s earned poignancy, nor the freshness of everything that came before.
75

Original-Cin by Liam Lacey

The narrative arc of Islands, so minimalist it’s really more of a slow bump, is about the gradual breaking down of Joshua’s small shell of comfort, his family and cultural conventions.
80

Variety by Owen Gleiberman

It is indeed a good movie, and quite an honest one, yet its setup is so ripe for cut corners and heartwarming chintz that I was almost surprised to see it sidestep the diagram I was expecting. I bet other viewers will have the same reaction.
75

The Playlist by Robert Daniels

Edralin’s Islands is a patient debut that reminds us that while our parents are important, our own happiness cannot be understated or ignored. In this sense, through its final seconds, “Islands” is a life-affirming achievement.