Immediately after the success of HIMALA in 1982, Screenwriter Ricky Lee and National Artist for Film, Director Ishmael Bernal excitedly came up with a new project for Nora Aunor. It was a socio-political suspense/drama about a woman being sought by the law for killing a man. It was said that this story was conceptualized, have been granted a budget, and had it’s first few scenes shot in the early 80s, but circumstances blocked its fate. Ricky Lee and Ishmael Bernal eventually realized that it wasn’t still ripe for the picking in the 80s.
After shooting a few scenes, both Screenwriter and Director, decided to shelve the project, and parted ways…never to work together again, until the latter’s death.
Even until our age, this story by Lee intrigues film enthusiasts and haunts Noranians, alike. It was a treasure, conceived by two great minds, however didn’t reach the our collective experience.
This year, CINEMALAYA 10, paves the way for Lee’s almost-forgotten promise, and gives the chance for Aunor to rekindle a role that Lee and Ishmael once envisioned for her after Elsa’s triumph.
In lieu of Ishmael Bernal, Director Joel Lamangan directed this re-thinking and handles it with Lee and Aunor.
And that’s where my hesitations begin. After many years of praying for Lamangan’s redemption in Philippine Cinema, (since SIDHI in 1999), I am keeping my fingers crossed that he at least give justice to Lee’s plot and characters.
Oh well, I have to see the movie first.
HUSTISYA (2014) is an official entry in CINEMALAYA 10’s Director’s Showcase Category, and will have its World Premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater on August 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm.