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Of the Flesh (1983)

Karnal (original title)



(screenplay), (true story "To Take a Life")
17 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Charito Solis ...
Vic Silayan ...
Grace Amilbangsa ...
Menardo (as Crispin Medina)
Joonee Gamboa ...
Rolando Tinio ...
Ella Luansing ...
Gil de Leon ...
Padre Julian
Rustica Carpio ...


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Release Date:

25 December 1983 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

Carnal Desires  »

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Did You Know?


The film was inspired by "To Take A Life", a true legal story by Teresita Añover Rodriguez published in MR. and MRS. Magazine. See more »

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User Reviews

Beauty and ugliness of human beings
27 June 2004 | by (Kumamoto, Japan) – See all my reviews

The locale is a lonely, conventional village of Philippine in 1930's.

I have some experiences in dealing with Filipinos through business and private. I think the essential problem of Philippine society is that they have lost their identity, under the influences of conventional heritage from Spanish ruling and materialism from American ruling. By setting the locale in 1930's, Diaz-Abaya tried to directly show repression of humanity and fallaciousness in this country.

Narsing returns to his father's home with his new wife Puring. Three years ago he went out from the village to Manila, but after failing many jobs he returned home to sell the land he would inherit from his father. But father never listens to him. Every time the couple talk about going to Manila again, Narsing confesses he is not confident he can do it better. Conventional village is a hell but materialized Manila is another hell for him.

Narsing's sister Doray was raised without going to school, not allowed to go out without permission. She loves Jose, but her father forced to marry to another man. Puring can not stand in this suffocating village. Friendship grows with Gorio, a deaf man came from outside of the village. Gorio is described as an innocent man. Maybe he is a symbol of something.

Getting frenzied after knowing that the father tried to rape Puring, Narsing kills his father. Puring bears a baby, but being refused baptizing the baby, Puring had no way but to kill the baby. Narsing runs away from prison but is arrested again, and he kills himself.

For the first time village people regret what they have done to Puring. Doray goes out of village to marry to Jose. The narrator of the story is their daughter. Doray has chosen to live in love.

First and foremost, this movie tries to show the problem special to Philippine society. Beyond Philippines, I think this movie has power to convey more universal message. It lets the audiences to directly look at ugliness and beauty of human beings.

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