Archive of films Ma' Rosa / Ma' Rosa

2016, 110 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2016

The rain-swept streets of an impoverished area of Manila are the setting for a small-scale drama about convenience store owner “Ma Rosa” and her husband, who are arrested for selling narcotics. The corrupt police threaten them with prison and demand money for their release, an amount that far exceeds their resources. They have no alternative: They have to dispatch their children to get hold of the cash.


Everyone in the neighbourhood knows Rosa who runs a small convenience store with her husband. Two of the Reyeses’ four children are studying and so they supplement the pitiful income they get from the sale of goods purchased wholesale by dealing in under-the-counter drugs. It’s the rainy season, and on the eve of Nestor’s birthday, the police raid the shop. They turn the place over and take Rosa and her husband down the station. A cat-and-mouse game ensues, whose rules are familiar to everyone: either they pay a bribe or come up with the supplier’s name. Except that even though the supplier is hauled in and beaten up, he can’t come up with the money. Threatened with prison, Rosa has no alternative but to dispatch her children to get the cash. The well-known Philippine director paints a compelling picture of the areas of monsoon-ravaged Manila tourists never see, and of the way the police operate in the city. Taking centre stage in the film is Ma’ Rosa, a role that earned Jaclyn Jose Best Actress at Cannes.

Eva Zaoralová

About the director

Brillante Mendoza (b. 1960, San Fernando, Philippines) studied at Manila’s University of Santo Tomas and then worked for ten years as a stage and set designer. He debuted as a filmmaker in 2005 and has thus far completed around twenty feature and documentary titles of different lengths. The majority of his work addresses various gay themes, crime phenomena, and life on the edge of society in contemporary Philippines. His work has been commended at international festivals (Cannes, Venice, Locarno, Dubai): The Masseur (Masahista, 2005), Summer Heat (Kaleldo, 2006), The Teacher (Manoro, 2006), Pantasya (2007), Foster Child (John John, 2007 – Another View, KVIFF), Slingshot (Tirador, 2007 – Another View, KVIFF), Service (Serbis, 2008), Lola (2009), Kinatay (2009), Thy Womb (Sinapupunan, 2012), Captive (2012), Sapi (2013), Trap (Taklub, 2015), Ma’ Rosa (2015).


5 rue Nicolas Flamel, 75004, Paris
Tel: +33 153 103 399
Fax: +33 153 103 398
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Screenplay: Troy Espiritu
Dir. of Photography: Odyssey Flores
Music: Teresa Barrozo
Editor: Diego Marx Dobles
Art Director: Harley Alcasid
Producer: Loreto Larry Castillo
Production: Center Stage Productions
Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Julio Diaz, Felix Roco, Andi Eigenmann
Sales: Playtime

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