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Lifting up the true story of the lives of the prisoners who sparked the rebellion against the tyranny of Ferdinand Marcos, I thought that it would be treated to a political spectacle. Apparently Liway is a more personal family drama. Best Movie Site

“Liway” is a nickname for Ceilia Flores-Oebanda alias Day (Glaiza de Castro), one of the frontiers of the New People’s Army struggle in an attempt to overthrow the Marcos government. After guerrilla in the forest, Commander Liway was arrested, thrown into prison with her husband, Ric aka Commander Toto (Dominic Roco). Their son, Dakip (Kenken Nuyad) was born and grew up in prison without ever knowing the conditions outside.

Even if treated humanly, life in prison is clearly not an easy matter, especially for children like Dakip. Day tried his best to keep his son living as normal as possible, making him happy, including by telling folklore stories, one of them being Liway, guardian deity of Mount Kanlaon, which is a fictional version of his life story.

Occasionally the scent of politics wafts, as prisoners sometimes get the latest news about the situation, regarding “Is the Marcos government going to collapse soon?”. We also had a chance to visit a brief flashback containing Day’s trip before being incarcerated, including the process of his arrest after a shootout in the forest, which unfortunately was packaged rather awkwardly by director Kip Oebanda, who co-authored the script with Zig Dulay. Movie Review


But most of all, Liway is still a personal story about a child’s growth and development. Dakip might be quite happy in prison, but after all, prison is still a prison. A place where freedom is restricted. When that freedom has been restrained from birth, individuals risk becoming accustomed to the restraint, consider it normal, even feel at home crammed with suffering. In the middle, Liway had left Dakip with his colleague, hoping that the son could live comfortably outside. In fact, the boy is not at home. Instead of sleeping on a soft mattress, he chose to lie on a thin blanket on the bathroom floor.

The flow progression is wrapped in a minimal medium burst of tempo but still dynamic, which flows smoothly thanks to neat writing so that it is comfortable to enjoy. Glaiza de Castro’s acting became a solid foundation as a rebel leader who is always trapped in a dilemma, between obeying the ideals of struggle or succumbing to the people dear. But in the midst of all that, the fire in his eyes refused to go out.

From daily portraits, Liway moves more intensely into the second half, when there is a structural change in the prison. The benevolent warden (Soliman Cruz), who creates a warm dynamic in the form of a respectful relationship between guards and prisoners, is replaced by a more violent person (Richard Joson). Sudden death seemed to approach, and tension increased. The climax is a gripping climax that oscillates the audience between hope and helplessness, as it always fills the days of prisoners.

Due to differences in closeness of representation, the insane response of the Filipino audience is certainly not repeated in Indonesia, but there is something else. That is the text before the credit reveals the director’s identity – which is actually predictable if he pays attention early or seeks information about the film first – many viewers are choked up, screaming little, even faintly heard crying, after realizing how Liway is a very personal film. Top Movie

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