Austrian premiere of the restored version

Insiang is a classic film by the late master filmmaker Lino Brocka, who depicted the harsh realities of life in the slums of Manila with unflinching honesty and compassion. The film centers on Insiang, a young woman who lives with her abusive mother Tonya and her mother’s lover Dado. When Dado rapes Insiang. Insiang decides to take revenge on both, him and her mother.

The film exposes the social problems of poverty, overcrowding, crime, and corruption of Filipino society. Brocka uses a realistic style and a documentary-like approach to capture the gritty atmosphere and the authentic details of the slum life. He also employs a tight editing and a suspenseful music score to create a tense and claustrophobic mood.

The film has a historical significance as the first Filipino film shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978 and received international recognition. It is widely regarded as one of Brocka’s best works and one of the finest examples of Philippine cinema. The film also marked the first time that Tondo, Manila, was used as a shooting location, reflecting Brocka’s commitment to portray the marginalized sectors of society. The film also reflects the political situation in the Philippines under the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos, suppressing civil liberties and human rights. The film was a courageous statement against oppression and injustice, and a testament to the resilience and dignity of the Filipino people.

Lino Brocka (1939-1991) was a Filipino film director and activist who is widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in Philippine cinema. He directed more than 40 films, many of which tackled the social issues and injustices of his time, such as poverty, oppression, corruption, and human rights. He was an outspoken critic of the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos, and a co-founder of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and the Free the Artist Movement. Some of his most acclaimed films include Insiang (1976), Manila in the Claws of Light (1975), Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim (1984), and Orapronobis (1989).

Red Lotus 2023

Philippines 1976
124 Min | Color | Tagalog with English subtitles

Directed by Lino BROCKA

Screenplay Mario O’HARA, Lamberto E. ANTONIO, based on a novel by Mario O’HARA Cinematography Conrado BALTAZAR  Editing Augusto SALVADOR Music Minda D. AZARCON Sound Ago SALVADOR
World sales World Cinema Project
DCP Courtesy of Cineteca di Bologna


Insiang © World Cinema Project