Ma' Rosa

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Philippines | 2016 | 110 minutes | Brillante Mendoza

Filipino director Brillante Mendoza's social-realist drama tracks the case of an impoverished family who run a convenience store, but are only able to make ends meet by selling drugs until they are arrested and pressed for bribes by corrupt police officers.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

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Ark Lodge Cinemas

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Monday, June 5, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Uptown

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In the dirty and poverty-stricken neighborhoods of the Philippines, sari-sari convenience stores serve as the hub of economic and social transactions. Director Brillante Mendoza's story of a shopkeeper couple, Rosa (Jaclyn Jose, 2016 Cannes award for Best Actress) and Nestor (Julio Diaz), reveals the harsh reality of a family's day-to-day survival. To make ends meet for their three children, Rosa peddles "ice," or crystal meth, at her family-owned store. But on the eve of Nestor's birthday, local corrupt policemen raid the store on a customer's tip and arrest the couple. During the interrogation, the policemen demand a bribe of 200,000 pesos from Rosa and her husband for their release. Unable to pay up, the couple's children, Jackson (Felix Roco), Erwin (Jomari Angeles), and Raquel (Andi Eigenmann), are forced to raise the bail money. In a race against time, Raquel begs for money from family relatives and Jackson attempts to sell their belongings, while Erwin takes a riskier and more significant approach by sleeping with an older man for money. The gritty style of the filmmaking gives Ma' Rosa a documentary feel, refusing to shield the audience from the realities of the chaotic streets of Manila.

Director Biography

Brillante Ma Mendoza started as a production designer in various films and television advertisements. His debut film, Masahista (The Masseur) won the Golden Leopard Award at the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival, and paved the way for the rise of alternative cinema in the Philippines. In 2005, he founded Center Stage Productions (CSP), an independent film production company. Mendoza continues to make films and documentaries that depict the lives of the Filipinos and the marginalized sectors of society, cultivating an audience for alternative cinema in the Philippines. His films are shown in different schools all over the country. One of which is Manoro (The Teacher), a film now part of the Philippine Department of Education's teaching modules. Brillante Mendoza is the first Filipino director to be honored by France with the title Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

Sponsored by Southeast Asia Center UW

  • Director: Brillante Mendoza
  • Principal Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Julio Diaz, Andi Eigenmann, Felix Roco, Mercedes Cabral
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Philippines
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Producer: Larry Castillo
  • Screenplay: Troy Espiritu
  • Cinematographers: Odyssey Flores
  • Editors: Diego Marx Dobles
  • Music: Maria Teresa Barrozo
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Cannes Film Festival 2016 (Best Actress), Official Oscar Submission 2017 (Foreign Language Film)
  • Filmography: Trap (2015); Thy Womb (2012); Captive (2012); Service (2008); Foster Child (2007); Summer Heat (2006); The Masseur (2005)
  • Language: Filipino
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: First Run Features
  • International Sales: Films Distribution