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Search our database of more than 4,500 film reviews. We have been discovering spiritual meanings in movies for nearly four decades.

Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Insiang
Directed by Lino Brocka
Cine Manila Artist Not Rated Feature Film
12/76

Screening at the 44th New York Film Festival, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Oct. 14, 12:00 noon.

This 1976 film from the Phillipines is regarded by many as a classic. It is a melodrama that takes place in a populated shantytown where poverty, anger, and violence live side-by-side in the hearts and minds of its residents. Tonia (Mona Lisa) works in the marketplace and has allowed some of her ex-husband's relatives to live with her and her daughter Insiang (Hilda Koronel). She is a stunning beauty whose boyfriend has one thing on his mind: de-flowering her and proving his manhood. Another young man is quite taken with her but he is too shy to express his romantic feelings.

Tonia decides that she deserves some pleasure so she tells her relatives to move out: they are replaced with Dado (Ruel Vernal), her boyfriend, who is known in the neighborhood as a tough guy and inveterate gambler. Insiang has grown tired of her mother's constant criticism — she calls her immoral with no grounds or proof. Dado soon gets bored with his sexual dalliance with Tonia and forces himself upon Insiang. The anger and hatred within her reaches a boiling point, and she comes up with a plan to change things once and for all. Hilda Koronel gives a strong performance as the put upon daughter..

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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Hilda Koronel (right) as Insiang Ruel Vernal as Dado