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In the slums of Manila, you pay the police, or you go to jail, if not your grave. Based on true events, Mendoza’s film mixes drama and documentary-like scenarios to tell the story of Ma’Rosa, a shopkeeper who helps make ends meet by selling small quantities of drugs under the counter. When the police arrest her and her husband, their children are forced to pay a high price for their release. A sometimes wry dispatch from the war on the poor, Ma’Rosa, this year’s Philippine Oscar submission, examines the price of survival in a society governed by corruption and violence.

Reviews: Hollywood Reporter, Variety,

Interview: Interview with Brilliante Mendoza at Fandor Keyframe

Filmography: Trap (2015), Sapi (2013), Thy Womb (2012), Captive (2012), Grandmother (2009), Kinatay (2009), Summer Heat (2006)

Other Films by Brillante Mendoza

Thy Womb

Following the fortunes of a humble Muslim fisherman and his wife, this lyrical tale of love and beauty questions how far someone will go to fulfill their social destiny and dreams. Shaleha, an aging midwife unable to bear her own child, embarks on a quest to find a second wife for her husband who can