Mike de Leon’s Films to Be Screened at the New York Museum of Modern Art

Photos / Sister Stella L and Batch ’81

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City will be hosting a retrospective of Mike de Leon’s films.

De Leon is a director, cinematographer, scriptwriter, and producer who was mostly active in the ’70s and ’80s. He is the director of classic films such as Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising, Kisapmata, Batch ’81, and Sister Stella L. He returned to helm Citizen Jake in 2018.

From November 1 to 30, 2022, the MoMa will screen “Itim, in a new restoration that premiered at Cannes earlier this year; Kisapmata; Batch ’81, Sister Stella L., Citizen Jake; and the short film Signos.”

MoMA will also screen rare behind-the-scenes production footage from Itim, Moments in a Stolen Dream, and Maynila, sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, the Lino Brocka-directed film where de Leon served as producer and cinematographer.

According to the museum, de Leon “is one of Filipino cinema’s most fiercely political and dramatic storytellers in his own right.”

It added, “De Leon’s own films mix the genres of melodrama, crime, supernatural horror, slapstick comedy, and the musical with blisteringly critical stances toward his country’s history of corruption and cronyism, state-sponsored violence, feudalist exploitation, and populist machismo.”

This retrospective will be the director’s first in North America.

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