(SPOT.ph) The Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival always churns out quality films that aren't just entertaining, but talk about real-life issues too. Take, for example, Benedict Mique's ML, which follows a young college student as he learns about the realities of the Martial Law era from someone who lived through it. It was nominated for Best Film, Best Editing, and it earned Eddie Garcia the award for Best Actor at Cinemalaya 2018. It was also the second top-grossing Cinemalaya entry, next to Liway, which is also about Martial Law. After critical acclaim, Liway got a nationwide screening in October, and now it's ML's turn as it returns to the big screen on November 7.
In the film, Carlo (Tony Labrusca) is studying about Martial Law in school, but doesn't really think that it was a dark time in Philippine history. His family, he argues, doesn't have any bad memories of it, and he only hears about the "bad" things online. With this perspective, he is tasked by his professor to find someone who actually lived through Martial Law. Carlo then comes across the retired Colonel dela Cruz (Garcia). Suffering from dementia, dela Cruz believes that he's still a soldier torturing activists during the dictatorship and mistakes Carlo for one of those activists.
Aside from Garcia and Labrusca, the film also stars Liane Valentino, Henz Villaraiz, Jojit Lorenzo, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Chanel Latorre, and Chrome Cosio.
ML screens nationwide on November 7.