Words by John Peter Himor
The 2018 Cinemalaya Film Festival has come and gone, but the movies and their stories are here to stay. This year’s roster of movies tackled a great range of narratives, from age-old dementia (“Mamang”), child trafficking (“School Service”), and even the power of miracle workers (“Pan de Salawal“). Full of inspired storytelling and masterful cinematography, the Cinemalaya movies prove the potential of Filipino cinema.
The two movies about Martial Law in this year’s Cinemalaya coincidentally became the festival’s top-grossing films. Liway tells the story of mother and son growing up in a prison, while ML shows a retired colonel torturing a student, believing it was still the Marcos regime. These movies were so well-regarded during Cinemalaya that thunderous applause and chants from the audience would often end the film in the spirited cinema.
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Because of the high demand and the warm reception, these two films are also due to have a nationwide release these coming months! If you haven’t yet watched these movies during their Cinemalaya run, make sure to watch out for their upcoming release in your local cinemas!
Liway tells the story of a young boy named Dakip growing up in a makeshift prison inside a military camp for anti-Marcos rebels and criminals. His mother Commander Liway, as played by Glaiza de Castro, warmly tries to shelter Dakip from the brutalities of their life, but the brunt of Martial Law further threatens their security. This movie is based on true events, as written and directed by Kip Oebanda. Liway also stars Sue Prado and Dominic Roco.
Liway opens October 17 in select cinemas nationwide.
Tony Labrusca stars in ML as a college student who visits a retired colonel for a first-hand account of the atrocities of Martial Law. Suffering from dementia, the colonel (played by Eddie Garcia) kidnaps and tortures the student, just as he did during the Marcos dictatorship. ML is written and directed by Benedict Mique, Jr.
Although without a set date, ML will have its wide release this coming November.
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Continue celebrating Filipino cinema by watching Liway and ML in your local cinemas!