WRITTEN REVIEWS

“I really liked Curiosity, Adventure & Love because it really drew together a personal story of a very interesting American woman who came to the Philippines early on in her life, age 18 and the way it weaved together her story, the story of the Philippines, its relationship with the USA and also its coming into its own self. I highly recommend the movie.” Anthony Pennings, Professor at SUNY (State Universtiy of New York), South Korea

“For those of us privileged enough to have never lived through war or times of scarcity, not our quotidian money worries, but real hunger and fear about when the next meal will come, it’s easy to forget how much worse it could be and its easy to forget the very real and present struggles of our fellow man. Jessie carried her own struggles throughout her life as a constant reminder to look back and help those still struggling to survive. This extraordinary woman whose life bridged centuries is a beacon in our modern era reminding us that the only way to live a genuinely meaningful life is in service to others. In this age of individualism and self-fulfillment which so often translates into spending hours alone I front of a screen, this film is a beautiful reminder that we are all part of a larger family of mankind. The filmmakers succeed in a simple message of kindness delivered so eloquently by Jessie against the ever changing and troubled background of of a nation struggling to find its independence and national identity. Everyone should see this film – a universal message of love and kindness to others and looking outside ourselves is as pertinent now as it’s ever been. ” Lara Williams, Journalist (San Francisco CA)

“It’s 6am and I have the opening shot of your film and accompanying original score lingering in my head … the first notes of the piano, which almost all Filipino children are obligated to play, immediately brought childhood memories alive. have so much to tell you about the feelings stirred up in me after watching the film…but besides my personal feelings, I want to tell you why I think you should try to market the film to the older generation ; my mom’s age , our generation and the younger, my daughter’s age. I’m coming from a perspective of healing . Just as Nana ( may I call her that? My Lola is gone and I woke up this morning missing her sooo much) said in the film, after the war the Filipino people were really changed . The country never fully recovered and restored to its full prewar glory. This is a sore wound that many elders have and hold in their heart. Nana’s poignant recollection of Manila life in the early 1900’s I’m sure will bring cherished memories and pride to all Filipinos of every age. Nana’s strength to live a full, generous life after losing your grandpa is an amazing encouraging and inspiring example to ALL that life goes on and you must make the best of it.

There are many Filipino-Americans raised in the USA that don’t know anything about the Philippines, like my girlfriend Kathy who you met, who after seeing the film longs to have tea and visit with Nana…Many FilAms have lost their connection to the Philippines and its rich history. For the most part the Philippines has been colonized and the identity of the Filipino people was left somewhat blurred and obscure. Nana being adventurous and having no strong family ties in the US adventurously found her roots in the Philippines and even though she is not Filipina by blood she embodies the Philippine culture and embraces being Filipina with her whole heart and soul. Many FilAms need to find that sense of identity and pride, its the roots that will give them the strong sense of being, belonging and self respect , that will be the basic and first step to doing great things in their lives.” Carol de Leon, Designer (Los Angeles CA)

What I found most inspiring is her timeless message about global citizenship and internationalism. She was a century ahead of what we are now teaching in schools. She talks about common humanity and that we all aspire for the same values- happiness, equity, tolerance. This is remarkabable as that era she came from is very nationalistic, secular, discriminatory. Would love to show the film here in school! – Felicia Atienza, Educator (Manila, Philippines)