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María Elena Marqués,
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Sol de Carvalho
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This movie tackles the story of Rosario, a teacher, who was raped by a Japanese- Filipino during the Japanese occupation in her small town in Laguna. She got pregnant and had to live with the prejudice of her town mates after her family accepted Masugi.
It was not long before Rosario accepted her fate, she bore her child and married Masugi. But when the war came to an end, she had to face again the fury of her town mate, and they were unforgiving.
The movie depicts the horror of war, the fear that it creates, the dilemma of the people trapped in the struggle to survive. But most of all, the movie tackles the love and aspirations of the three main characters, their faith and before the movie ends, hope.
This movie really surprised me, the story and script were superb. The pace was believable, Rosario falling for Masugi's charm was not forced. You emphasize with the characters and their plights as they move through the three years of darkness ,without God. Christopher de Leon playing Masugi is also believable as the half Japanese born in Manila. I am glad he didn't play a character who for example, is really a Japanese but just so happen to speak Tagalog fluently; a scenario not uncommon in other Filipino movies.
My only scene that didn't go well is when the town folks cut Rosario's hair. Yes , yes I get it but Nora's face after her hair was cut was too funny and felt out of place. The music is a little redundant, playing the same song throughout the movie.
Overall,this movie is well made, worthy to classify this as a classic, and perhaps O Hara's best movie of all time.
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