Directed by Brillante Mendoza
Ma’ Rosa has four children. She owns a small convenient store in a poor neighborhood of Manila where everybody likes her. To make ends meet, Rosa and her husband, Nestor, resell small amounts of narcotics on the side. One day, they get arrested. Rosa’s children are ready to do anything to buy their parents’ freedom from the corrupt police.
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★★★★½ review by dph on Letterboxd
The sociology of desperation. Fits rightfully among Mendoza's poverty gems. Reminiscent of Kinatay's best (nocturnal, violent) scenes and Foster Child's great (maternal) moments (Jaclyn Jose's deserved Cannes Best Actress plum). 3rd world Michael Mann, on meth. A-
★★★★★ review by Leo Migraso on Letterboxd
Definitely one of my favorite Filipino films. Well crafted. Well performed.
★★★½ review by PUNQ on Letterboxd
Jaclyn Jose won the award for Best Actress at Cannes for this, simply for acting filipino. This is reality to the core! A great Brillante Mendoza showcase of the not-so-subtle corruption that the Philippines' poor are faced with. Felt just like being in the squatters. You could almost smell it, that's how real it was.
★★★★ review by John Raymond Celajes on Letterboxd
Ma' Rosa showcases a raw, gritty and unflinching glimpse into the everyday lives of the poor and the horrible situations they face in the hands of the corrupt police amidst the Philippines' current economic and political climate. The fantastic performances of Jaclyn Jose and the rest of the cast make up for the framing and editing problems here and there. The acting is so authentic that it feels like watching real people in a documentary rather than actors in a feature film.
★★★★ review by St-Christian Aldrin on Letterboxd
A piercing look at our country's corruption, poverty and drug problems − a sad cycle that never ends. The ending is utterly heartbreaking.
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