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

1984

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Sister Stella L.

Labor, politics and religion are the issues that come in conflict in Sister Stella L. The film tells the story of Sister Stella Legaspi, a nonpartisan religious, whose pacifist stance is challenged by an older radical colleague, her namesake, and Nick Fajardo, a concerned journalist, her ex-boyfriend, in response to the injustice being perpetrated on a group of factory workers in Barrio Aguho. When a strike is declared at the local oil factory, the young nun is thrown into the thick of the strike and leaves her convent work to help the workers in their efforts against unfair labor practices. While she looks upon the matter as an opportunity to put into practice the teachings of Christ, the strikers on the other hand are quick to realize the strategic advantage of having nuns at the picket line. This utilitarian stage gradually develops into a relationship of deep involvement. Sister Stella begins to think like a worker. She learns to identify with their cause. Denounced by corporate officials, the strikers and the nuns align themselves together to fight off harrassment from management and, para-military agents.Read more

Sinner or Saint

Dina, a newly-married provincial lass, falls into the roles society has set for womanhood, but she unconsciously starts rejecting them one by one. She gives birth to a daughter whom she cannot name. She leaves for Manila to continue her studies but instead gets involved with a classmate who turns out to be a good-for-nothing hustler. When her husband comes back for her, she goes with him, but later abandons her family to keep house for a man with whom she has had a casual affair. She again runs away to the city, where she develops a liaison with a disturbed young man who shoots her to death when she has finally set her mind on a homecoming trip.

'Merika

Mila Cruz, a Filipina nurse, has been living in the United States for five years, working for her hard-earned money. Despite material prosperity, she finds something lacking in her life. Around her are other Filipinos in America. Lolo Caloy, the oldtimer and Mila's patient, who dreams of going home to the Philippines, but who knows no relatives to go home to. Violet and Henry, Mila's close friends, who seemingly enjoy their time in a foreign land. Jenny and Jerry, Filipinos who have already established themselves in the States and whose own children were born there. Neighbors, like the senile Lola Gorgonia and Mon Zablan, who is obsessed with material things that money can buy. Mila eventually gets involved with Mon. For a while, she forgets what she has been looking for; in fact, she thinks she has found the person who can make her happy. But, she later finds out that Mon is just using her to make his stay in the U.S. legal. Finally, Mila realizes that Mon cannot satisfy what has been missing in her life. She is yearning for her own country, her own land, her own beloved people.

Bulaklak sa City Jail

Angela, a nightclub singer, is plunged into an affair with a married man. She finds herself in the city jail on a charge of frustrated murder filed by her lover's wife. She soon discovers that prison is the place where the most vicious elements of the city are housed together, and that in the women's quarters, all sorts of physical and sexual abuses take place. When she finds out that she is pregnant, she falls prey to bureaucratic imbroglio on the matter of the custody of her baby. She manages to escape and gives birth inside the city zoo while being pursued by the authorities. She is arrested and promptly sent back to prison. After legal deliberations, the court grants her temporary custody of her child, and when her case is reopened, she is allowed to go out on probation. With her child, Angela gets a new lease on life.

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