Dekada '70-A socially relevant film*
From time to time, a politically and socially relevant film like Dekada '70 that likewise ranks high in form and quality emerges from the commercialized world of Filipino movies.
Dekada '70 well reflected conditions and events under the US-Marcos fascist regime — the widespread and intense suppression, brutality and human rights violations as well as the people's fierce resistance. In a simple but clear manner, the film mirrored the social and political crisis during the dictatorship that gave rise to a surging mass movement and a burgeoning revolutionary movement.
The film was culled from a novel by Lualhati Bautista published in 1983 and 1988. The novel won a Palanca award in 1983. Bautista also wrote the script for the film, thus enabling the movie to stay true to the essence and message of the novel. The movie was entered by Star Cinema at the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) in December 2002.
The movie's central character Amanda Bartolome (the mother role played by Vilma Santos) narrates her family's history and how their consciousness was raised. Although the movie stressed the significant issues within her family, it also described the context of social and historical events and the latter's interaction with their development as individuals and as a family. The story highlights the growth of Amanda's social awareness — throughout the 1970s — from being a meek and obedient woman to a woman consciously involved in social issues.
Playing important roles in her development were her eldest son Jules (Piolo Pascual) who became an activist and joined the New People's Army; her son Em (Marvin Agustin) who was a critical writer; and the murder of her son Jason (Danilo Barrios) who was picked up for violating curfew.
|Dekada ’70 well reflected conditions and events under the US-Marcos fascist regime — the widespread and intense suppression, brutality and human rights violations as well as the people’s fierce resistance.|
In showing their experiences and the development of their consciousness — including that of the pater familias Julian (Christopher de Leon) — the movie blossoms with the drama of a family shattered and made whole by social crisis.
The most vivid scenes in the film that served to unify the story were those at the beginning and end, where Amanda is shown courageously standing her ground in a rally. In the first scene, Amanda likens herself to a hand that rocks the cradle—someone whose sole occupation was caring for her children but who wonders whether this was all that fate had in store for her.
In the last scene, she militantly shows her revulsion for the dictatorship. She stands up, not just as a mother to her children, but as a woman, highly conscious and in solidarity with the many others defending and fighting for the interests of the mother country's sons and daughters.
Made last February 2003 from the Communist Party's newspaper Ang Bayan