One day in Mindanao, an open barrel with a hazard label is seen floating in a river. Nobody knows where the barrel came from, but soon scores of villagers who use the river for fishing, washing and cooking are dead.

A decade later, the river has disappeared in the heat of a catastrophic drought. In the surrounding jungle, only one source of clean water remains: a bukal, a hidden wellspring.

Here, two opposing factions of soldiers converge in their search for the wellspring, knowing that whoever controls the last vestige of water, controls the territory.

Commanding a government platoon are Abel and Dela Cruz, good Christian leaders whose troops are parched and wounded. Their Muslim counterparts in the rebel army, led by Ali and Ibrahim, are in similarly dire straits.

But more than their thirst for water is their thirst for revenge, as both sides have lost loved ones in the long conflict of their region, and each believes the other to be responsible for the poisoning of the river ten years earlier.

When they finally locate the bukal, both factions engage in a fierce gun-and-sniper battle—only to discover a deadly secret about the opposing party.

A co-production of EpyQ, TBA and Eko Pictures, BUKAL marks the directing debut of Epy Quizon, who directs a star-studded cast in a heartwrenching tale of fellow Filipinos stricken by war and tragedy.

Directed by Jeffrey Smith Quizon (Philippines)

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