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Dekada '70: A Film Review

Dekada '70 is a 2002 Filipino historical drama film directed by Chito S. RoÃo and based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Lualhati Bautista. The film depicts the life of a middle-class Filipino family who, over the space of a decade, become aware of the political policies that have ultimately led to repression and a state of martial law.

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The film stars Vilma Santos as Amanda, the mother of five sons and the wife of Julian (Christopher De Leon), a patriarchal and conservative man who works for a government agency. Amanda's role as a mother and a wife is challenged by the turbulent events of the 1970s, such as student activism, labor strikes, human rights violations, and the declaration of martial law by Ferdinand Marcos. She witnesses how her sons cope with the changing times, each in their own way: Jules (Piolo Pascual) becomes a radical communist rebel, Gani (Carlos Agassi) joins the US Navy, Emman (Marvin Agustin) becomes a poet and a writer, Jason (Danilo Barrios) falls victim to a police brutality, and Bingo (John Wayne Sace) grows up as a carefree teenager.

The film is a poignant and powerful portrayal of a family's struggle to survive and find meaning in a time of chaos and oppression. It also shows how Amanda gradually transforms from a submissive and traditional woman to an assertive and enlightened one, who realizes her own identity and role in society. The film is praised for its stellar performances, especially by Santos who won several awards for her role. The film also features a memorable soundtrack that includes songs from the era, such as "Anak" by Freddie Aguilar, "Bayan Ko" by Freddie Aguilar and Asin, and "Handog" by Florante.

Dekada '70 is now available to watch online on various platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video[^1^], Internet Archive[^2^], and ACKUM[^3^]. It is a must-see film for anyone who wants to learn more about the history and culture of the Philippines during one of its most turbulent periods.Themes and Symbolism in Dekada '70

Dekada '70 is not only a film about a family's saga, but also a film that explores various themes and symbols that reflect the social and political realities of the Philippines in the 1970s. Some of the themes and symbols that can be found in the film are:

  • Martial law and dictatorship. The film shows how the declaration of martial law by Marcos in 1972 affected the lives of ordinary Filipinos, who faced censorship, curfews, arrests, torture, and killings. The film also depicts how some people resisted the dictatorship, such as Jules who joined the communist rebels, and Emman who wrote poems and articles that criticized the regime. The film also shows how some people supported or benefited from the dictatorship, such as Julian who worked for a government agency, and Gani who joined the US Navy.

  • Family and patriarchy. The film portrays the dynamics of a typical Filipino family in the 1970s, where the father is the head of the household and the mother is the caretaker of the children. The film also shows how Amanda challenges this patriarchal structure, as she questions Julian's authority and decisions, and asserts her own opinions and desires. The film also shows how the sons have different relationships with their parents, depending on their personalities and choices.

  • Identity and empowerment. The film depicts how Amanda undergoes a transformation from a passive and obedient woman to an active and independent one. She discovers her own identity and role in society, as she becomes involved in various activities and causes, such as joining a women's group, attending rallies, and visiting Jules in prison. She also empowers herself by learning new skills, such as driving a car, sewing clothes, and baking cakes. She also stands up for herself and her children, especially when they face injustice or danger.

  • Religion and spirituality. The film shows how religion plays a significant role in the lives of the Bartolome family, as they attend mass, pray together, and seek guidance from priests. The film also shows how religion can be a source of comfort or conflict, depending on how it is interpreted or practiced. For example, Amanda finds solace in her faith when she faces difficulties or losses, while Julian uses religion to justify his conservatism or violence. The film also shows how some characters have different views or experiences of spirituality, such as Jules who embraces atheism, Emman who explores Buddhism, and Jason who has a near-death experience.

Dekada '70 is a film that offers a rich and complex insight into the Filipino society and psyche during a critical period in its history. It is a film that challenges its viewers to reflect on their own values and beliefs, and to appreciate their own freedom and dignity. e0e6b7cb5c


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