Respeto the film that won the most number of awards at the 2017 Cinemalaya independent film festival including the Best Picture Award, the Audience Choice Award, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, best Sound, Best Supporting Actor for Dido de la Paz and the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Prize, is set to screen for the general public in theaters nationwide on September 20, the eve of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.
With an appeal and relevance that goes beyond the hiphop urban culture, this movie explores the bond between17-year-old aspiring rapper Hendrix—played by Abra—and a grizzled poet Doc—played Dido dela Paz—who survived the horrors of the Marcos dictatorship’s martial rule.
In a statement, Cinemalaya cited Respeto “for its infectious, propulsive energy, its highly convincing cast of characters and very effective ensemble acting, its breathtaking, nearly epic sweep of the underside of Manila, its expert application of the resources of cinema to depict a teenager’s drive to rise above poverty and violence, its cogent melding of contemporary rap and traditional oral literature, and its sheer humanity and coruscating poetry.”
For its part, NETPAC lauded Respeto “for tackling the complex issue of human rights violation across two generations, musically connected by the vibrant and socially-conscious use of language.”
Written and directed by Treb Monteras II in his directorial debut, Respeto is produced by Monster Jimenez, co-written by Njel de Mesa, edited by Lawrence S. Ang, with Music by Jay Durias, and cinematography by Ike Avellana.
Respeto stars a mix of real life rappers and acclaimed actors. The cast includes Abra as Hendrix, Dido de la Paz as Doc, Loonie as Breezy G, Chai Fonacier as Betchai, Ybes Bagadiong as Payaso, Brian Arda as Mando, Thea Yrastorza as Connie, and Kate Alejandrino as Candy.
With Martial Law currently imposed throughout Mindanao in Southern Philippines, the offer of legal immunity to the Marcos political dynasty for the return of its plunder, and ongoing efforts by the Duterte regime to stymie anti-dictatorship institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights, the Presidential Commission on Good Government, and the 1987 Freedom Constitution, the upcoming screening of Respeto for the general public is timely. Respeto will commemorate the eve of the Marcos dictatorship’s Martial Law with a showing on September 19, 7pm at Cine Adarna, University of the Philippines, Diliman’s Quezon City.