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)