The society of respected film critics that hands out the annual Gawad Urian in cinematic excellence

Andrea, Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina (1990)

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Superstar Nora Aunor is off to a fresh start after her triumph - and her film's - at the 1990 Metro Manila Film Festival. It is a powerful film mainly because of the performan¬ces of the cast and the basic conflict found in the movie.

As Andrea, Aunor is a teacher who has chosen the difficult and perilous but crusading path of armed social rebel whose husband is a comrade in the underground. When it is time for her to give birth, she seeks refuge in the house of her best friend, Gina Alajar, who is married to a guy, Lloyd Samartino, who has absolutely no sym¬pathy for the cause which his wife's friend is fighting for.

Childless, Lloyd and Gina get emotionally at-tached to the baby, especially after the mother temporarily leaves the infant to look into the cir-cumstances of her guerilla husband's death in the hands of the military. Unfortunately, before she could return to her baby, Nora is arrested and detained in a safehouse by military men who tor-ture her mercilessly.

Having lost contact with the freedom-fighter and presuming her to have been killed, the sur-rogate parents have decided to keep the child as their own and bring him to the United States for seven years. When they return to the Philippines for a visit, Nora confronts them and tries to claim her child back.

"Andrea" has a most chilling, moving and har-rowing climax, one of the best in local movies. Its fearless account of military abuses in both Mar¬cos and Aquino administrations is admirable. From start to finish, it mirrors present Philippine conditions, with special focus on the problems af-flicting educators and the government's counter-insurgency campaign.

The film's cohesive material is given justice by the sterling performances of Nora Aunor and Gina Alajar, both perfectly cast. — Butch Francisco, Philippine Star