Ode to Nothing Review

What would it take to creep out an undertaker? Dwein Ruedas Baltazar’s third feature is a slow-burning, deeply unsettling art-horror hybrid. Sonya (Filipino superstar Marietta Subong), the protagonist of Ode to Nothing, is a mortician at a struggling funeral home in a small town in the Philippines. She lives with her father, who takes little interest in her or the business.  When bodies are brought in by their sobbing, sometimes wailing, loved ones, Sonya appears colder than the corpses as she sets to work on them. She tries upselling flower arrangements (or a plush coffin perhaps?), but living in such poverty means even the most devoted (and, of course, religious) families can barely afford the gravestone. Towards the beginning of the film, a middle aged woman brings her two dead parents in and requests a 2-for-1 deal on the flowers: “We have two dead people, that’s good for business.” 

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