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Manila, Philippines

Kalel, 15: A Movie About Awareness and Ignorance

Jun Lana’s 12th feature film, Kalel, 15, is a film about HIV awareness, lack of sex education, abortion, drug addiction, irresponsible parenting, and careless teenagers.

What’s the difference between HIV and AIDS?

Viewers will already know what Kalel is going through at the beginning of the film. He has acquired HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and when people discovered his condition, they carelessly interchanged HIV and AIDS. The stigma about HIV/AIDS was presented in the film. Everyone was repulsed by him without knowing the truth.

According to, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex or through sharing injection drug equipment. While AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.

Photo courtesy of The IdeaFirst Company

Ignorant culture

It can be concluded that the characters in this film are high schoolers, yet they are exposed to different vices, pre-marital sex, and even drug addiction. With all these in mind, there is nothing that can educate these youngsters in these practices. All they know is that it’s bad and it will put the name of their family to shame. It is shown that the adults have no intent to educate and are more interested in their self reputation.

Jun Lana is undoubtedly one of the greatest Filipino directors I have ever seen. Awareness about these issues has never been this interesting and eye-opening to watch.

Watch Kalel, 15 and see it for yourself. Stream now on Netflix.


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