‘Respeto’ opens in theaters on Martial Law week

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Abra in 'Respeto.'

“Respeto” is definitely not just a hip-hop movie, but a movie of our times when the effects of violence wrought by Martial Law echoes today.

After emerging on top of the Cinemalaya class of 2017 last month, Alberto Monteras II’s acclaimed directorial debut opens in theaters nationwide on September 20, the eve of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.

The film is about Hendrix (Abra), a 17-year-old aspiring rapper who meets a crusty old poet (Dido dela Paz) who turns out to be an activist and survivor of a brutal past.

It premiered in Cinemalaya and bagged all the major awards including Best Picture, NETPAC Prize and Audience Choice.

The film has also been lauded by NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema), “for tackling the complex issue of human rights violation across two generations, musically connected by the vibrant and socially-conscious use of language.”

A Facebook post by Team Respeto on the film’s Facebook is urging everyone to watch the film on its opening day. “If we do well on the 1st day of opening, theaters will let us stay. If you all wait for the weekend, they will take us out of cinemas!,” went part of the post.

“We have limited resources and very little time, but we know we have to screen this film right now because it’s a movie that reflects the times we live in. We need your help to spread the word!”

“Respeto” had an invitational screening last September 12 at the Power Plant Mall. The film will kick off U.P. Diliman’s commemoration of 45 years since Martial Law with a screening on September 19, 7p.m. at Cine Adarna, Quezon City.