A blockbuster during its theater runThe bomba movie may be classified into two types: hard pornography, and the “art Film.” Celso Ad. Castillo’s Nympha is an example of the latter, but its defective structure prevents the director from conveying his message artistically.
Nympha begins and ends with a scene in the cemetery where a group of people are standing around a tomb under the rain. The movie as a whole is an exposition of the events in Nympha’s life that lead to this scene. Nympha is a young girl reared and morally sheltered by a hypocritically pious elder female relative. The girl’s blind piety, however, is ripped apart by her sudden awareness of the sexually-charged environment and by her own first love affair. Eventually, she goes from man to man, driven by her demonic desires. Her unwanted pregnancy finally leads to a gory, fatal abortion.
Castillo’s structure is untenable. Enveloping scenes from Nympha’s life within the cemetery scene is unnecessary. First, it is the director himself, not any of the characters, who assumes the narrative viewpoint; and, second, the cemetery scene is not credible--- the people stand there for an unbelievably long time, and under the rain at that.
Because of this structure, the director forgot to pursue the movie’s thematic conflict, which is, hypocritical morality versus a sexually promiscuous world. As a result, there are gaps in the story, and inconsistencies between psychological make-up of the characters, and their behavior. Lastly, while the movie clearly disapproves of moralistic hypocrisy, it ironically insists on its own ethical standards. Thus, it objects to abortion. But then, the Philippines is a Catholic country, isn’t it?
---More on the article, click images above---Article source: “Nympha: Umano'y Sining” by Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr., originally published in Pilipino Reporter, 1971/ compiled in the book, The URIAN Anthology 1970-1979