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First ten minutes of the first Filipino film featured at Cannes Film Festival.

Insiang (film).jpg
Directed by Lino Brocka
Starring Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal, Rez Cortez,> Marlon Ramirez, Nina Lorenzo
Music by Minda D. Azarcon
Cinematography Conrado Baltazar
Release date(s) 1976
Running time 95 mins.
Country Flag of the Philippines Philippines
Language Tagalog

Insiang is a 1976 drama film directed by Lino Brocka. It was the first Filipino film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and was responsible for making Brocka an international name in cinema. The story itself is set in the slums of Manila, where the title character is raped by her mother's lover and learns to exact revenge.



The story centers around a teenage girl, Insiang (Hilda Koronel), who is trapped by a mundane life of poverty in Tondo, a slum district of Manila. In the opening scene, countless pigs scream helplessly against the shrill whine of machines carving them from living beings into chunks of flesh. The image mirrors the brutal and callous world Insiang faces daily.

Insiang is the only child of Tonia (Mona Lisa), a market vendor abandoned by her husband. Insiang's mother sees her only as a reminder of the irresponsible husband who left her for no apparent reason. Mother and daughter live in a slum shanty with the parasitic relatives of Tonia's husband. Tonia, however, has a "live-in" partner called Dado (Ruel Vernal), a hoodlum who is also attracted to Insiang. This causes Tonia to become jealous of her daughter. Insiang has a boyfriend, though, named Bebot. The young girl starts to hate Tonia and Dado even more when Dado stops Bebot from writing to her.

One night, Dado rapes Insiang. When Insiang tells her mother, Tonya believes Dado's tale that Insiang seduced him. The desperate Insiang asks her boyfriend to run away with her. After she and Bebot make love in a cheap motel, Bebot leaves her. Disillusioned, Insiang returns to her mother who accepts her but is determined to prevent Insiang from "seducing" Dado again. With revenge in mind, Insiang yields to Dado's sexual advances, and manipulates him into mauling Bebot in a garbage dump. Meanwhile, Tonya grows more suspicious of her daughter and Dado. Spurred by revenge, Insiang reveals her relationship with Dado to her mother and spurs her on, until Tonia attacks the man with a large knife and butchers him. As a result, Tonia ends up in jail where the formerly innocent Insiang visits her and admits that she planned Tonia's downfall.


The film has been called melodramatic, but emotionally stirring. Being the first Filipino film featured at Cannes, Insiang and Koronel as the title character stunned French critics. The film also enjoys periodic revivals at international festivals, such as the New York Film Festival.

Among the awards garnered by the film and its people are: Manila Film Festival Award Winner for Best Actress (Koronel), Best Supporting Actress (Mona Lisa), Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress (Lisa), and the Gawad Urian Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (Vernal). The film also received nominations for best picture, director, screenplay, actress, cinematography, editing and production design. The Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Filipino Film Critics) voted the film as one of the best of the 1970s.






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