The 1980's were a time of tumultuous change in the Philippines. Ferdinand Marcos had declared martial law a decade earlier when he was refused a third term -- becoming the country's dictator while Imelda gathered shoes. After ten years of corruption, things began to change. Marcos lifted martial law; there was the first election in 12 years; Benino Aquino, Jr. was assassinated; attempts were made to impeach Marcos; a snap election was called; and finally, Corazon Aquino (Benino's widow) became the President of the Philippines. It is during these changes that Auraeus Solito places his new film, Philippine Science, otherwise known as Pisay.
The best and the brightest mathematical and scientific minds in the Phillipines get sent to Philippine Science High School. It is where Solito himself went, when his life was headed towards science and not filmmaking. In Pisay, the director revisits his time there -- dipping into the experience of high school while also discussing the dynamic changes underway in the country. Following one group of kids, Solito breaks the film down into four acts (one for each year of schooling) and focuses on a handful of kids each time with a quick-moving and sometimes spinning camera.