‘Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told’
(We are running this guide to help you plan your holiday movie-viewing activity. The 48th Metro Manila Film Festival, or MMFF, runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7, 2023)
Directed by Lester Dimaranan; written by Eric Ramos; stars Claudine Barretto, Edu Manzano, Aljur Abrenica, Paolo Gumabao, Ritz Asul, Myrtle Sarrosa, Allan Paule, Rey Abellana, Gerald Santos, Rez Cortez, Juan Rodrigo and Jervic Cajarop; produced by Borracho Film Production
The film tells the tragic story of the so-called Mamasapano massacre on Jan. 25, 2015, when members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force had an encounter with two of the world’s most wanted Islamic terrorists. Told in nonlinear fashion, the film alternates between battle scenes and the proceedings of the PNP-Crime Investigation and Detection Group Board of Inquiry. It gives a unique perspective of that disastrous incident from the point of view of the investigators, survivors and witnesses.
Lawyer Ferdie Topacio, who owns Borracho Films, said he hoped for “Mamasapano” to become part of the MMFF because his company and the festival share a common goal: “This is to uplift the quality of movies in the country. In my own little way, I dream of being able to help make our films a lot more competitive for the audience’s sake. I hope industry people will stop prioritizing a film’s box office potential over its other merits.”
Manzano plays Gen. Benjamin Magalong, who headed the Board of Inquiry. In order to make his portrayal truthful, he convinced Magalong to allow him to borrow the genera’s uniform, including its bars, medals and ribbons.
“I know that these things have sentimental value to the general and that I have to really take care of them. One day, I got really scared when I was not able to find them in their usual storage space in the house. I didn’t know what to do. I found them, eventually, and I promised him to personally return them the next time I go to Baguio City, [where Magalong is currently serving as mayor],” Edu said.
—Marinel Cruz INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.