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Curiosity, Adventure and Love

original title: Curiosity, Adventure and Love

2016, 61 min., Color /Blck & White, English

DOCUMENTARY CATEGORY : History / Archive, Portraits
COUNTRIES: USA, Philippines
PRODUCTION : BUDGET : 130 000 euro



Director s : Screenplay : Justin Weinrich, Sunshine Lichauco de Leon
Cinematographer : Arturo Prins
Producers : Sunshine Lichauco de Leon, Suzanne Richiardone


FESTIVALS: Soho International Film Festival 2017, NYLA International Film Festival 2017, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2017,2017 London International Documentary Festival 2017, Docs Without Borders Film Festival 2017, La Femme International Film Festival 2017, World Premiere’s Festival Philippines 2016, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2016

Director’s Statement:

My 105-year old American grandmother Jessie Lichauco, was at the epicenter of events that shaped the 20th century Philippines and possesses a unique perspective on how her adoptive country and the world has evolved since.

I believe it’s important to share stories and insights of the generation that lived the pre-war world and survived World War II. I made this film because I wanted to inspire people to learn more about Philippine history and the detail with which she remembers history brings it to life.

The wisdom she has accumulated over a century of life has tremendous relevance in today’s fast-changing world, where people are more connected and more isolated from each other, perhaps now more than ever. It is my hope that her story will remind people of what we have in common and inspire them to be more compassionate to each other.

Jessie Lichauco’s life has been exceptional and truly unique, and I believe the universal themes which her story touches – romance, marrying into another culture, adventuring to another country at a young age, history, war, saving children and her humanitarianism, will make the film appeal to any audience, regardless of age, gender or nationality.

If this film encourages people to live life with a greater curiosity, more sense of adventure, and a deeper compassion and love towards each other, then I have done my job as a storyteller.



Curiosity, Adventure & Love is the story of a 106-year-old American woman who journeys to Manila alone in the 1930s at age 18, the history of the Philippines she witnessed and the insights of a woman whose indomitable spirit has evoked inspiration for the thousands who have known her.

Sitting alone in her 250-year old Spanish colonial home, Jessie Lichauco’s poetic soul shares stories of a life guided by fate, where her innate sense of adventure, curiosity and compassion for others knows no boundaries. Jessie’s husband worked for the Philippine colonial government lobbying for independence in Washington DC and was among the country’s most prominent lawyers, allowing her to witness the rebirth of a nation. Bridging the past, the present and future, it’s an amazing journey of a century of humankind, of love and finding home, of the cruelty of World war II and a hostile occupation, and the rebuilding of a nation while living a life that restores our faith in the power of our own humanity.