Archive of films The Call of the River / Panaghoy sa suba

2004, 126 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2005

This love story takes place during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, in a quiet village on the banks of a life-giving river. Haunted by the past, Duroy longs for the beautiful Iset but she herself has to decide her own fate.


This unusual love story takes place during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, in a quiet village on the banks of a river, the local inhabitants’ only form of communication with the rest of the world. Duroy (Cesar Montano) desires the beautiful Iset (Juliana Palermo), but her parents would rather see their daughter marry her employer, an American named John Smith, or the Japanese officer who commands the occupied zone. Duroy, who sees his life as a series of failures, finds an escape in partisan resistance. Meanwhile, the girl of his dreams must get used to the brutality of existence and the collapse of her family. In the end, only she can decide whom to give her heart to. The ghosts of the past haunting Duroy are losing power over him but the call of the river must be answered.

About the director

Cesar Montano (b. 1962, Manila) was born into a family of seven children and grew up in Santa Ana, the old quarter of Manila. His lawyer father wanted him to become an engineer and had difficulty adjusting to the idea that his son dreamed of becoming an actor. Montano, however, went his own way, and in 1983-89 began to appear in small film and television roles. He also tried theatre, painting, singing, and modelling. His breakthrough came in 1990 with Machete (dir. Mauro Gia Samonte); since then he has won several awards and acted in a number of films. His greatest success to date came with a role in Miramax’s The Great Raid, which will be screened at the end of the year. Yet Montano wanted to fulfil his dream of becoming a writer-director, and so he made and starred in The Call of the River (Panaghoy sa suba).


Ferdinand Lapuz
191 San Joaquin Street, 2009, Angeles City
Tel: +639175511434

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Cesar Montano
Screenplay: Cris Vertido
Dir. of Photography: Ely Cruz
Music: Nonong Buencamino
Editor: Renato de Leon
Producer: Cesar Montano, Ismael A. Reyes, Dionisia I. Reyes, Emmanuel D. Manhilot, Severina O. Manhilot, Jacky Woo
Production: CM Films Inc.
Cast: Cesar Montano, Juliana Palermo, Joel Torre, Rebecca Lusterio, Jacky Woo, Caridad Sanchez
Contact: Ferdinand Lapuz

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