Movies & TV

You Can Now Stream These Must-Watch Filipino Indie FIlms on Netflix

Director Erik Matti puts the spotlight on these cool movies.
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If you're not sure how to spend the first days of 2020, Erik Matti may have something for you. The acclaimed director celebrated the landing of four whole indie flicks on the global platform of Netflix. Yup, these pretty hard-to-find films have found a new home: Apocalypse Child, Patay Na si Hesus, Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington, and Balangiga: Howling Wilderness.

Matti made the announcement together with Reality Entertainment, a production company he runs alongside Dondon Monteverde, early in December. The director said he was very happy that "the Filipino audience will get to see these films I consider to be modern classics. It feels really good to bring these diverse films for everyone’s enjoyment." Think of it as a cool Christmas gift. For those who weren't able to catch these indie flicks during their festival runs, we list them down below.

Apocalypse Child

This slow-moving and ambient drama follows Ford (Sid Lucero), a freewheeling Baler local who, all his life, has been told by his mother Chona (Ana Abad Santos) that he is the illegitimate child of the director Francis Ford Coppola. Their idyllic life in the bubble of Baler is broken by the return of Ford's childhood friend, now-congressman Rich (RK Bagatsing). As the peaceful facade is torn open, Ford, and everyone in his tight-knit circle, must come to terms with what hides behind their small town's seeming perfection.

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Patay Na si Hesus

Jaclyn Jose, in her first ever Bisaya-speaking role, stars as hardened single mother Iyay. She brings her brood of three—trans man Jude (Chai Fonacier), the chill Jay (Melde Montañez), and Hubert (Vincent Viado), who has Down syndrome—on a life-changing road trip from Cebu City to Dumaguete. Their destination? The funeral of their estranged father. Cue an unexpectedly touching tale told with lots and lots of dark humor.

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Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington

It has been nearly a decade since Zombadings sashayed its way into Filipino pop culture—and you can finally watch it again whenever you want. Remington (Andre Salazar) is in love with a girl who has just moved to his neighborhood, only it seems he has been "cursed" to be, yup, gay right as a mysterious zombielike epidemic rips through the town.

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Balangiga: Howling Wilderness

This acclaimed film takes on the bloody Battle of Balangiga—and the brutal massacre of the Filipino townsfolk at the hands of American soldiers in 1901—and tells it through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy. You may need to gather some emotional fortitude beforehand, but this is definitely an eye-opener if you'd like to learn more about our history.

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This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Mia Rodriguez for Spot.ph
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