Movies & TV

This Month, Revisit Movies About the Martial Law Era at the Never Forget Film Festival

A partnership between Cinema Centenario and the Commission on Human Rights.
IMAGE Arkeofilms; Cinema Artists Philippines; Globe Studios

In a time like this, when our national memory appears to be in shambles, it's even more important to remember that every September marks the anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of Martial Law. This dark chapter of our history must remain in its place, neither repeated nor forgotten.

That's why Cinema Centenario, together with the Commission on Human Rights, has arranged a month-long film festival that showcases films about the Martial Law era. To commemorate the 46th year since Proclamation 1081, the Never Forget Film Festival runs from Saturday, September 1, all the way through to the end of the month, at Cinema Centenario on Maginhawa Street, Quezon City. It features the works of Lav Diaz and Mike de Leon, among others, as a way of remembering the atrocities and injustices of the time.

Here are some of the films that will be featured in the Never Forget Film Festival:

Eskapo by Chito Rono

The real-life story of Geny Lopez and Serge Osmena, who were both imprisoned on false charges of conspiring to assassinate then-President Ferdinand Marcos because both their fathers were opponents of his administration. Starring Christopher De Leon, Richard Gomez and Dina Bonnevie.

Catch it on: Saturday, September 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, September 23; 9:00 p.m.; Thursday, September 27, 6:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 30, 9:00 p.m.


Barber's Tales by Jun Lana

In a rural community in the 1970s, a widow inherits the town's only barbershop from her deceased husband. She initially fails to attract customers in the chauvinistic, male-dominated community—until she earns the sympatheties of a prostitute, who pressures men into patronizing the barbershop. Starring Eugene Domingo, Iza Calzado, and Eddie Garcia.

Catch it on: Sunday, September 2, 9:00 p.m.; Tuesday, September 11, 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, September 20, 8:30 p.m.; Friday, September 21, 5:00 p.m.; Friday, September 28, 10:00 p.m.

Tu Pug Imatuy by Arnel Barbarona

In the festival's closing film, Lumad couple Obunay and Dawin are uprooted from their traditional way of life after a military encounter. Soon, they find themselves unwilling instruments in the soldiers' anti-guerilla operations. Tu Pug Imatuy (which literally means "the right to kill" in Manobo) tackles the Lumads' struggles real-life against mining and militarization. Starring Malona Sulatan, Jong Monzon, and Luis Georlin Banaag III.

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Catch it on: Sunday, September 30, 5:00 p.m.

Moral by Marilou Diaz-Abaya

Moral traces the lives of four women—classmates and best of friends—and their desperate, interwoven experiences from 1979 to 1982. Their individual attempts to resolve their problems reflect the different faces of the woman in our society today. Starring Lorna Tolentino, Gina Alajar, Sandy Andolong, and Anna Marin.

Catch it on: Saturday, September 29, 4:00 p.m.


Citizen Jake by Mike de Leon

The personal saga of a young Filipino man and his struggles with the contradictions within his own social class and the demands of a dysfunctional political family in a Third World nation. Starring Cherie Gil, Dina Bonnevie, Adrian Alandy, Gabby Eigenmann, Max Collins, Teroy Guzman, Nonie Buencamino, and Atom Araullo.

Catch it on: Saturday, September 8, 1:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 16, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, September 21, 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, September 30, 11:00 a.m.

Respeto by Treb Monteras II

Hendrix dreams of hip-hop greatness, but he’s spiraling down a rabbit-hole of crime and poverty until he meets Doc, an old poet still haunted by his martial law past. Can they turn each other’s lives around before they’re swallowed by their circumstance? Starring Abra, Dido de la Paz, Loonie, and Chai Fonacier.

Catch it on: Friday, September 7, 5:00 p.m.; Monday, September 10, 6:00 p.m.; Wednesday, September 12, 1:00 p.m.; Friday, September 21, 10:00 p.m.; Wednesday, September 26, 11:00 p.m.


Ang Panahon ng Halimaw by Lav Diaz

An anti-musical musical rock opera that delves into mythology to tell the story of Hugo Haniway, a poet in the 1970s, who searches for his wife after she disappears while setting up a clinic in a remote village controlled by militia. Starring Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao, and Bituin Escalante.

Catch it on: Saturday, September 15, 11:00 a.m.; Sunday, September 23, 4:00 p.m.

The Never Forget Film Festival has several other films and documentaries lined up for the month. Follow the festival's official Facebook page for updates and screening schedules.

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