A Filipino Gay Melodrama
“Rainbow’s Sunset” is the story of 80+ year old gay men who finally move in with each other when one is dying.
Fredo (Tony Maseba) comes from a wealthy family and has been in love with poor farm boy Ramon (Eddie Garcia) since they were in school together. When they were in college, she shared physical intimacies. Even with this, Ramon got married and had a family. Fredo, who never married, was there for Ramon whenever and he actually financed Ramon’s first home and his political campaign when he decided to run for public office. He behaved as a surrogate father and grandfather to Ramon’s family as they grew up. We meet Ramon now that he has retired. He had been a well-respected Senator and something of a local celebrity. One of his daughter’s was elected mayor of their town.
Fredo, on the other hand, is not doing well and is now in the final stages of terminal cancer. Ramon moves in with him. Sylvia (Gloria Romero) Ramon’s wife has known about their relationship for years is resigned to what will happen. However, Fredo’s three adult children are concerned that gossip about their father being gay will harm their own relationships. Each of the children have their own problems within their own relationships but that did not stop them focusing on trying to persuade their father to move back home for their sakes.
Writer/director Joel Lamangan’s film is of help to the conversation about the acceptance of the LGBT community with Filipino society. Even more so, it is a look at gay elders. The theme of a Senior Citizen coming out and opening up to his family on his long standing love for a childhood male friend is not new in everyday life but it is to film. “Rainbow Sunset” takes on two important issues— coming out in a society where being gay is totally looked down upon and elderhood in the LGBT community.
This is a family film that is relevant and important to every family. It looks at the double standards of society and does so with grace and style. The film brings the audience to a natural flow of emotion and, indeed, there are humorous and light moments just as there are many dramatic moments. We weep along with the characters and we weep for society and for those who cannot live open gay lives. After all the drama, the most important take away is the importance of family as the basic core of society and it is the fundamental support system for each of us.