One of this year’s Cinemalaya entries is ‘ML’ which is short for ‘Martial Law’.
The film stars the living legend, the multi-awarded actor-filmmaker, the veteran and well-respected star—Eddie Garcia and the up and coming serious young actor—Tony Labrusca.
Their paths crossed and when Carlo (Labrusca) went along with his best friend Jaze (Henz Villaraiz) and girlfriend Pats (Lianne Valentino) paid a visit to an ageing and retired Metrocom officer Jose Zabala Dela Cruz (short for Metropolitan Command) played by Garcia.
And because the old man’s character has slight dementia—he detained the three teenagers and let them experience what really Martial Law is all about during the Marcos Regime.
To put it figuratively, Eddie Garcia’s character reflects what most of those who do not understand the horrors of Martial Law and how it has impacted Philippine history. In today’s setting; at the time when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assumed into office has somehow, slowly reintroduced the possibility of having one, again. Some supporters of the President are not worried that the nightmares felt in the 70s will recur, once again.
Is that behavior an indication that Filipinos in general have more leeway to embrace it again or have totally disregarded and forgotten the ill effects of such law?
In the film, Carlo is confronted by a frustrated History professor, as he set out to prove that Martial Law wasn’t all that bad (since he’s misinformed) and found someone who lived through that period to tell the tale.
Brilliantly imagined and directed by Benedict Mique, ML is an attempt to present what this country would be like if Martial Law is enforced, again.
Catch the film and see its screening schedules, here.