Joel Lamangan's entry centers on Dolly (Dawn Zulueta, Megan Young). She's returned to the Philippines after more than 30 years to know more about the daughter she left in the care of one of her friends. They were friends, however, in the most turbulent of circumstances: the first few years of Martial Law. including the infamous First Quarter Storm. Plus they were all political activists, which is kinda bad for you if you don't want to be detained/tortured/etc. In her quest to search for the truth for her daughter, she revisits the friends she left behind: Oliver (Tirso Cruz), who became allied with the government, Cita (Zsazsa Padilla), who remained a communist rebel, and Azon (Gina Alajar), who gave up the revolutionary lifestyle to take care of her daughter (and Dolly's as well.)
I'm not really a fan of Marxist philosphy, nor do I support student activism of such a radical level, because of my opinion that such systems are doomed to fail. Does the movie itself take a stance on this philosophy? I'm more inclined to say that the film at least says that people who tolerate social injustice are not so different than the people who are behind them. The film gives a few winks in our direction with regards to that.
The movie is professionally made, slick and polished, although with some weird script dialogue, e.g. "when did you do a 360 degree turn [with your ideas?]" (Uhhh... that will just take you back to the start) and firing on the ground ftw. Digital media has come far since the first Cinemalaya, and it's showing in spades here with a high definition picture and a clear and solid image. The production designer even made the effort of making props, sets and even softdrink bottles appropriate to the era.
The acting is decent, although you will see your share of "sampalan" scenes taken almost out of a telenovela, but that's Joel Lamangan for you. The young version of the casts delivers, adequately filling their respective roles.
My one problem...