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Philippine movie queen, Vilma Santos, takes the role of a nun who becomes involved in an on-going labor strike. She starts out unpoliticized, but later learns about the plight of the simple working man and inevitably, the government's neglect of the poor masses. Her ex-boyfriend turned reporter gets tortured by masked goons and the union leader gets murdered. In the end, instead of being afraid, she strengthens her resolve to see the fight to the end. It's hard to imagine a nun with heavy make-up as Santos, but her excellent acting more than makes up for it. The men who did the torture and killing (termed "salvaged" in the Philippines, a local slang) covered their faces, but in reality, most "salvagers" don't go into that trouble. De Leon is a careful filmmaker; this film exhibits his penchant for fine cinematography and strong yet flawed characters. Despite some shortcomings in the little details, the film stands out as one of his best.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sister Stella L is film about a struggle of a nun against injustices
and government oppression.It features Vilma Santos and Jay Ilagan.Mike
De Leon directs.
The story involves Sister Stella Legaspi,a nun who becomes involved in labor strikes after learning of the government's neglect of the poor and working classes. Her fight for the poor becomes complicated when Nick Fajardo, her journalist ex-boyfriend, is tortured and Dencio, a union leader, is kidnapped and killed.Also,she struggles in finding balance with her involvement in fighting for the poor due to her sworn duty as a member of the Catholic Church.
This is a great film as it was shown back in 1984 at a time when Filipinos are under the dictatorial rule of the late President Marcos.It exhibits a theme about standing up for one's rights and freedom especially at a time wherein becoming vocal against not tolerated especially against the government; and media censorship exists.Aside from that we also get to see an awakening that happens among a group a nation that has learned to fight against injustices committed against them.This was exemplified by Sister Stella.She developed from becoming an innocent bystander to becoming someone who went out of the streets to fight for her rights.It also gets interesting too with her considering that she is a nun and lives in a country wherein separation between Church and the government exists.As far as acting is concerned,Vilma Santos did a wonderful job in her portrayal as Sister Stella.This film only proves that she is definitely one of the best actresses the Philippines has had.Added to that,De Leon did a masterful job in the director of film.
In the summary,this film is definitely one of the best shown in the Philippines.Simply a masterpiece!!!
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