People Have the Power: Resistance in Filipino Cinema

The Flor Contemplacion Story

Joel LamanganPhilippines120 minutes199514AColourTagalog

Oct 7
  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.

Considered to be one of the best Filipino films ever made, The Flor Contemplacion Story united three of the country's most influential talents: director Joel Lamangan, screenwriter Ricardo Lee, and star Nora Aunor, who has since gone on to become a senator. (The three would reunite nearly two decades later for Justice, also showing in this series.) The title subject is a real-life Filipina domestic worker who was convicted of murder and executed by the Singapore government, under circumstances many Filipinos considered profoundly suspicious (there were rumours that the woman's confession was extracted under torture). Addressing the post-Marcos phenomenon of Filipino offshore workers — many of whom were treated disgracefully in the countries where they sought employment — the film also reflects on Filipino self-image and implicitly condemns the poverty which made the workers effectively defenseless when they dared to object to their treatment. "The Flor Contemplacion Story … shows great restraint and emotional truth. It is intelligent, moving, and never sensationalistic" (David Overbey, TIFF).