Lino Brocka

Lino Brocka – Cain at Abel (1982)

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Brothers Ellis (Christopher De Leon) and Loren (Philip Salvador) battle it out in a sibling rivalry of biblical proportions in this award-winning retelling of the Old Testament story. Controlling matriarch Señora Pina (Mona Lisa) blames eldest son Loren for her husband’s death and showers all her love on the younger Ellis. Tensions between the warring brothers increase as they grow into adulthood, culminating in a bloody confrontation.
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Lino Brocka – Orapronobis AKA Fight for Us (1989)

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Lino Brocka’s “Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa” (Three, Two, One, 1974) shows the filmmaker’s versatility in the short form, working with various writers.

The first segment, Tony Perez’s “Mga Hugis ng Pag-asa” (Faces of Hope) has Jay Ilagan play Noni, a drug addict struggling in a drug rehabilitation center. And while the segment is generally considered to be the weakest of the three, it does feature cinematographer Romy Vitug’s fine monochromatic camerawork, and the startling image of Ilagan being shaved of all his hair (a shockingly traumatic sight when I first saw it at the tender age of nine).
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Lino Brocka – Macho Dancer (1988)

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Macho Dancer is a 1988 Philippine film, directed Lino Brocka, which explores the harsh realities of a young, poor, rural gay man, who after being dumped by his American boyfriend, is forced to make a living for himself in Manila’s seamy red-light district. Based on a true story, the film frank depiction of homosexuality, prostitution, drag queens and crooked cops, porno movie-making and sexual slavery, and drugs and violence caused the Filipino government censors to order extensive edits of the film, forcing an uncensored edition to be smuggled out of the Philippines and shown to a limited number of international film festivals. This print is now part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York [Images in the Dark: An Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Film and Video. 1994. Raymond Murray] Read More »

Lino Brocka – Insiang (1976)

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Jealousy and violence take center stage in this claustrophobic melo­drama, a tautly constructed character study set in the slums of Manila. Lino Brocka crafts an eviscerating portrait of an innocent daughter and her bitter mother as women scorned. Insiang leads a quiet life dominated by household duties, but after she is raped by her mother’s lover and abandoned by the young man who claims to care for her, she exacts vicious revenge. A savage commentary on the degradations of urban poverty, especially for women, Insiang was the first Philippine film ever to play at Cannes. Read More »

Lino Brocka – Insiang (1976)

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“Insiang” is Lino Brocka’s tale of one girl’s coming of age in the slums of Manila. The title character, played by Hilda Koronel, is a young girl who lives in a small crowded shanty with her mother, Tonia (Mona Lisa). Her boyfriend Danny (Rez Cortez) treats her little better than a sex object and her mother’s lover Dado (Ruel Vernal), overcome by desire for young Insiang, rapes her in her own home. She runs to her mother for sympathy but gets rejected instead. Disillusioned and worn out, Insiang decides on revenge.

“Insiang” has the distinction of being the first Filipino film to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978, where both Lino Brocka and Hilda Koronel garnered much attention and acclaim from the international film community. The film also earned a number of important awards and nominations including the Manila Film Festival Best Actress Award for Koronel. Read More »

Lino Brocka – Tinimbang ka ngunit kulang AKA You Have Been Weighed and Found Wanting (1974)

A portrait of small-town oppressiveness in the Philippines, made during the Marcos government’s imposition of martial law. Lino Brocka’s 1974 film tells of two social outcasts struggling to survive the hypocritical condemnation of their fellow villagers; the tone ranges from comedy to tragedy to documentary observation of village rituals. Read More »