Award-winning Filipino film Respeto (Respect) is streaming today for free in commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by late president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The Treb Monteras-directed independent film, which premiered in 2017 and stars FlipTop battle rappers Abra and Loonie in their big-screen debut, along with veteran actor Dido De La Paz, is about an aspiring young rapper (Abra) and an elder poet (De La Paz) who struck an unlikely friendship. Respeto is considered as “one of the first films to truly tackle the current era of extrajudicial killings” in the country under the current administration’s bloody “war on drugs” campaign.
The free online screening invites viewers “to duly reckon with the Filipino nation’s horrid past,” which pertains to the Marcos’ authoritarian rule. “The film celebrates the power of verses. This movie is charged with music, rap and poetry expressing the era of violence in the Philippines today.”
Respeto won several awards during its debut, including Best Feature-Length Film at the Cinemalaya Film Festival in 2017, and has since bagged acting awards for Abra. It was also widely praised for its “powerful use of the Filipino poetry in the form of Pinoy hip hop rap battles and Balagtasan [Filipino debate done in verse] poetry” and its “rather powerful examination of a generational relationship with government-backed violence.”
Stream the feature film here for free only until today.
In related news, watch our Behind Bars episode on Calix’s “Di Matitinag” featuring BLKD below: