In this article, we list down five Pinoy films with stories of humanity, goodwill, and, of course, love. Here are some of PalabasTayo’s recommended films to watch on Holy Week.
Centered on love, acceptance, and sacrifice, the Holy Week is celebrated every year as a reminder of God’s role in our lives. For a few days, we’re encouraged to spend what little moment we have to enjoy some quality time with our families and friends, usually by watching films, going on pilgrimages, or practicing traditional liturgies and services.
Nowadays, films are usually consumed as a form of escape from our hectic, busy lives, but this medium highlights another one of its facets during Holy Week. Movies that urge its viewers to introspect about their stories and their life lessons aid them in embracing the commemoration’s truest message, which is why watching Easter films have become such a huge part of the holidays’ modern traditions.
1. T-Bird at Ako – Starring one of the earliest depictions of LGBT themes in Philippine cinema, T-Bird at Ako is a 1982 film that tackles the complexities of love as it tells the story of a lawyer who begins to develop feelings for a female client.
T-Bird at Ako stars then silver screen rivals, Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, as the lead love tandem, showcasing vulnerable-but-impactful acting and emotional nuances not often seen in our films of the past. Stream it now on Amazon.
2. Patay Na Si Hesus – Jacklyn Jose stars in this road trip film where her character travels with her kids to attend the wake of her dead husband, Hesus.
Although relying on a few shock scenes that may be a little too much for younger audiences, Patay Na Si Hesus is a grounded story of a broken family on the cusp of monumental change. The whole family can watch it now on Netflix, but parental guidance is advised.
3. Sister Stella L. – Another entry from Vilma Santos’s iconic filmography, Sister Stella L. is an unapologetically politically-charged film that takes on social injustices throughout its 90-minute runtime. The titular character takes to the streets with other labor figureheads to protest the government’s poor treatment of the Filipino people. Stream it on Amazon.
4. Above the Clouds – After an unfortunate event, Andy (Ruru Madrid) reunites with his estranged grandfather (Pepe Smith) and joins him on a hiking trip while they try to overcome their grief together.
Director Pepe Diokno’s Above the Clouds carefully and masterfully touches on love, loss, longing, and letting go, and the two leads’ on-screen chemistry further stresses the importance of family during hard times. Watch Above the Clouds here on YouTube (unlisted, link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNXVW2OeeyQ)
5. Sunday Beauty Queen – The 2016 documentary by Baby Ruth Villarama tells the story of a group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) juggling domestic work and preparations for an upcoming beauty pageant.
Earnest in its depiction of women empowerment and unbridled bliss in an unfamiliar landscape, Sunday Beauty Queen lets our OFWs take center stage to show us the sacrifices they take to provide for their families in the Philippines. It is equally charming and tear-jerking, and you can stream it online now on Netflix.