Movies & TV

'Liway', a Film that Sparked Impromptu Rallies at Cinemalaya, Gets a Nationwide Release

Starring Glaiza de Castro as Kumander Liway.
IMAGE VY/AC Productions
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Rarely is a film so moving as to deserve a standing ovation, and perhaps even more uncommon is a film that can stir enough political emotions to get its audience to rise up in protest right after. But as accounts of its gala screening would have it, Kip Oebanda's Liway is precisely that kind of film. Similar stories were told of other screenings during its run at Cinemalaya last August—stories of audiences feeling so strongly right after the film that they would shout and chant the rallying words of the first EDSA Revolution (and perhaps the next one too—knock on wood).

Liway tells the story of Oebanda himself, or at least, the circumstances of his birth and his early life. He was born in a makeshift military prison, to a mother who had carried him while underground and on the run, fighting the Marcos dictatorship. Oebanda spent the first few years of his life in that prison, and the film shows how his mother would tell him stories to shield him from the realities of the era. It's a personal story, about an important chapter of our history. ""It felt like the right time to do it," said Oebanda, "given how our history is being actively erased or revised."

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The film took home Cinemalaya's Audience Choice award and its own share of critical acclaim by the end of the festival. But if you didn't get to catch it in its first run, don't fret: the film has just announced a nationwide release on October 17, 2018. It arrives just a week ahead of the QCinema festival on October 21, so already the month is packed with great films to see.

And even if you did manage to catch Liway at Cinemalaya, there may be reason yet to see it again. The film's Facebook page has also announced that the production has hit the editing room to re-work the film, and that the version we saw at Cinemalaya is not the version hitting theaters nationwide in October.

There's a lot to look forward to either way, so mark your calendars.

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