had an infinitely emotional conversation with this non-fiction narrative of a review of Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa.
The teacher of literature, Karen (Jean Garcia), is enigmatic for a reason, but effective like every literature teacher should be. She reads poetry and it comes alive, she asks questions about it with certainty. She is unsurprised by any of her students’ assertions, even as these are necessarily about sexuality and desire, love and intimacy, the act of gazing. Even as she is the object of that gaze.
That Karen is unperturbed becomes part of her enigmatic persona; that this ties cleanly together with the fact of her silence(s) as teacher is the gift that Yapan’s characterization gives us, acknowledging without romanticizing the fact of teaching’s contingent and necessary loneliness, one that isn’t a sad thing at all. Karen’s quiet solitude shines with possibility and freedom, even as it becomes fodder for students’ presumptions about her, even when all it means is that she will never be known.