For 10 years, Nawruz has lived in Bliss, a former government housing project that has now becomea shelter for local migrants, city workers, and university students. Originally from the southern region of the Philippines, he has decided to stay in Manila not only for work opportunities but also for the comfort and freedom of urban living. But staying in Manila isnmint easy - and it isnmint cheap, either. He accepts freelance design and animation work, sells beauty products, joins a community lending scheme, and thinks of renting a whole flat in Bliss and leasing its rooms to earn and save money.
Nawruz PAGUIDOPON was born in northern Mindanao, a southern island in the Philippines. He graduated from the University of the Philippines(UP) in Manila with a fine arts degree. In 2014, he finished his first full-length documentary, A Journey to Haifa, which was shown in metro Manila cinemas and was nominated for a GMA News TV award competition. He has pitched his projects to South Korea, India, Indonesia, and Germany and now works at the UP Film Institute.
God BLISS Our Home is a personal account of a film major, who is originally from southern Philippines, living on his own in Manila. The director, Nawruz PAGUIDOPON, lives in BLISS, a former government housing project that has become a shelter for local migrants, city workers, and university students. Each resident makes the best use of the limited space given. The stories we encounter in this documentary are deeply relatable to the younger generation of South Korea today. They portray some universal concerns of youth: living in tiny rooms, seeking part-time jobs to pay for living expenses and tuition fees, experiencing troubled romance, being torn between their parents' expectations and their own choices, and achieving small victories every now and then. Inevitably, Nawruz's confessional drama draws us in. It is worth noting the director's cinematic choices aimed at highlighting the characteristics of a secretive personal documentary. Defined as a 'selfie-documentary', the film is shot using a selfie stick, showing the full face of the director and recording his daily existence. When he has to explain his financial conundrums, the director includes simple animation that he's drawn himself. For example, the hands breaking out of the heart resolutely reach for money. The film's cheerful tone makes it much easier for us to deal with such complex social issues as poverty, survival, sexual identity and an uncertain future. (JEONG Minah)