Re-posting the article written by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. For the trailer, click here.
“Dukot (Desaparecidos),” a film based on true accounts of human rights violations and extra-judicial killings, brings back the political film genre, which was made popular by directors Lino Brocka (“Bayan Ko” and “Orapronobis”) and Mike de Leon (“Sister Stella L”).
The film had its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival in Canada, where it reportedly drew raves for its “great storytelling, thematic urgency, technical competence and tour de force performance of lead actors.” It will be shown in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong before it opens in Metro Manila on December 2.
Meanwhile, it was screened last night at My Cinema in Greenbelt 3, Makati City, ahead of the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, being marked tomorrow.
Palanca awardee Bonifacio P. Ilagan, who wrote the film directed by Joel C. Lamangan, says it “could very well be the first full-length film to deal squarely with the current phenomenon of human rights violations in the Philippines.”
The film opens with a prologue: Bong, a detainee, is tortured into cooperating with his captors. (He and Roxy, another detainee, will be held by the military to become their assets in the counterinsurgency campaign.) A year passes.
Junix, a student leader, is abducted by the military because he is listed in its so-called Order of Battle. On the early morning that he disappears, he meets up with his girlfriend Maricel, a former student activist, who works in a call center. News spreads fast about their disappearance.
Coming all the way from Davao, the parents of Junix team up with Sonia, Maricel’s widowed mother, to start a search. With a human rights group and other people’s organizations, they make the rounds of military camps, morgues and common graves.
They seek the intervention of the courts, to no avail, until a damning piece of evidence is uncovered against the military. Meanwhile, Junix and Maricel undergo untold torture.
In the search for Junix and Maricel, the story of their activism and romance unfolds.
The military establishment presents Bong and Roxy to claim that Junix and Maricel are actually rebels who have been abducted by their own comrades because of some grave offenses against the movement.
Produced by CDP Events and Entertainment Productions in partnership with ATD Entertainment Productions, it casts Allen Dizon and Iza Calzado in the lead roles, supported by Gina Alajar, Robert Arevalo, Emilio Garcia, Felix Roco, Jr. and Snooky Serna.