The long-lasting consequences of prostitution in an ever-globalising Asia are made painfully palpable in the tragicomedy I AMERICA. Director Ivan Andrew Payawal sketches a convincing portrait of the teenage years of Erica, the daughter of a Filipino prostitute and an American soldier. A soldier Erica never got to meet, after the Americans left their base in 1991. This seems to change when Erica gets in touch with a man on the internet claiming to be her father. This ‘John Barry’ requests her to come to the United States, but that’s easier said than done; when applying for a visa, Erica finds out there’s something wrong with her last name. With her enigmatic past looming over her, Erica’s future as both the daughter of John Barry and an up-and-coming model become more uncertain than ever.
“Born to a formerly prostituting mother and an American man she has never met, Erica Berry sets off on a quest to discover more about her father, and, in the process, herself. Well produced, yet palpably raw, this occasionally comedic drama explores the concept of self-identity with memorable Filipino flourish.” – Samuel Hubner Casado, CinemAsia programmer