12-year-old Reyboy lives in Karihatag, an isolated fishing village in the south of the Philippines. Every morning, the men set out to sea. Their daily catch is shared upon their return and the area close to the shore has been turned into an ecological safe haven for fish. In Karihatag, every boy grows up to become a fisherman. However, when the first rain falls, Reyboy will leave for the city to study.
In Last Days at Sea, first-time director Venice Atienza joins Reyboy for his last summer at home. They spend the days watching the clouds change shape, and the nights looking up at the stars imagining life on Saturn. Reyboy shares the beauty he sees in the little things around him; the rocks, the crabs, the water. They talk about what it means to be home. Nothing seems to happen at the surface. But slowly, the cracks in Reyboy’s paradise start to appear. While the fishermen of Karihatag risk their lives as the yearly storms become increasingly dangerous due to climate change, Reyboy’s goodbye to the only life he has ever known becomes imminent.
Dir. Venice Atienza - 72min - 2021, Philippines, Taiwan
"In the process of knowing Reyboy and his family, I’ve understood that living in isolation, being at the frontlines of climate change, and having no access to education, shapes people’s emotional worlds." Venice Atienza on www.truestoryfilm.blog
"Venice Atienza’s wistful and evocative documentary is rooted in the liminal space between childhood and adolescence. Having grown up in Karihatag, a remote fishing village in the south of the Philippines, 12-year-old Reyboy is about to leave for the big city, where he will be attending high school. His last days at the seaside are punctuated by everyday routines as well as grand existential questions that can only be asked by the very young – such as, what lies beyond the glittering stars?" - Guardian
"a monument to the childhood years of a boy leaving for a better future—to take one step closer to the planets" - IDFA
"They observe the stars and the rhythms of the ocean, decipher cloud images and experience time standing still. The lyrical composition of words and images profoundly cast light on Reyboy’s point of view." - Berlinale
"a deeply melancholic, at times rather sad documentary about change, the end of childhood and loss." - Asian Movie Pulse
"Imagining a world without greed, pollution and selfishness, Last Days at Sea reflects Reyboy's innocent perspective and immerses the viewer in the richness, beauty and joy of home—a place that lives inside us all, as something both real and intangible" - Hot Docs