Maski Papano (I Mask Go On): Short Film Review

Synopsis: Maski Papano is a short film that centers around a disposed facemask that turns into a humanoid and starts an adventure looking for its previous owner.

Maski Papano may well be one of my most favorite (yes double affirmative intended) shorts in all my years reviewing Cinemalaya.

It’s  a  creative take of the Filipinos’ pandemic journey using stop motion animation and disposable surgical masks which have been among the world’s constant companions in its battle against COVID-19.

The story is a light and humorous take on the discarded mask’s quest to find his purpose after he was tossed in the trash and replaced for “someone” better by its previous owner. In his journey, it finds that it is not alone and that there are others like him in the world.

The mask’s story mirrors the experience of people all around the world amid the sense of isolation and loneliness brought about by repeated lockdowns as the COVID situation grows worse. The lack of jobs/purpose reflects the experience of those who have lost their livelihood during the pandemic. The constant whys reflect the uncertainty that seems to be part and parcel of the new normal.

However, at the end of the day, the film carries a message of hope, as the mask finds itself y connecting to others who are experiencing the same things as him. In its journey to find its purpose, it was also able to find itself to give a new meaning to its continued existence. It realizes that its merit does not depend on others but on himself. In realizing that it is not alone in navigating its new life, it finds joy and comfort, as well as peace.

It’s a good takeaway, that despite our sense of isolation, we can reach out to others and ease our burdens as we deal with this challenge together. Despite its heavy content, Maski Papano was fun. It was simple yet it held a power borne from creativity. I loved it. Congrats directors Che Tagyamon And Glenn Barit!