Why You Should See ‘Katips’ While You Still Can

Stage & Performing Arts

MANILA, Philippines—Today is the day that the two controversial Martial Law-driven films head to select cinemas nationwide. One of them is from the standpoint of the fascist’s family and the other is from the outlook of student activists who experienced the painful realities during the time of authoritarianism in the country—and in case this comes as a surprise, only the latter is worth the watch.

Written, directed, and starred in by Vincent M. Tañada, and produced by Philstagers film, Katips is a musical drama adapted from the award-winning stage musical play that ran in 2016, “Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero”.

The storyline of the 2-hours-and-22-minute movie follows a group of young rebels from the Katipunan area in Quezon City who endured torment, together with the other martyrs, under the oppressive martial law regime in the 1970s of the late former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. 

Its cast includes top young and veteran actors such as Jerome Ponce, Mon Confiado, Adelle Ibarrientos, Nicole Asensio, and a company of brilliant and talented film and musical theater actors.

Let’s be honest. The Philippines is obviously not a big fan of musicals, let alone films that are based on historical facts. Save for a lucky few of the same genre and treatment, a film that’s not a mainstream commodity doesn’t really inspire ticket sales. But if its many accolades and slate of topnotch actors are not enough to convince you to watch this bang-up movie, we run down reasons that make this bold film an excellent watch.

Katips is a certified awards sweeper

On July 30, this film set the internet abuzz as it snagged seven awards—namely Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Song, Best Musical Score, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Picture—out of 17 nominations at the 70th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards Night, which took place at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila.

Apart from this, Katips also earned a recognition of Outstanding Achievement Award from Singapore’s World Film Festival that took place earlier this year in February.

No room for hearsay as it is inspired by real-life experiences

Falsehoods does not have any space for this film as it is inspirited by Tañada’s personal account of oppression under the era of dictatorship. He also said in a press conference of the movie last year that the film was also inspired by the encounters of his family during the martial law regime.

It is also worth noting that Tañada is the grandson of former senator Lorenzo Tañada, who was jailed for taking the opposition against the government and actively participating in street protests.

The film is applauded by critics and other public figures

Not only is this film received the thumbs up for juries of a slew of award-giving bodies, Katips, is also highly commended by ordinary citizens, public servants, celebrities, and more including Pokwang, Jake Ejercito, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, and more.

In this day and age, when anything can be flipped over by a couple of biased narratives and baseless claims, it is crucial to keep in mind that the real truth is solely based on facts and deceptive lies are concealed in pretentious apathy—and what we need is a refresher of veracity backed by historical context, which Katips offers.

True, amid awards and all, Katips is far from perfect. But in a time when disinformation is commonplace, it’s high time we get to choose a side to be on—the truth and the greater good. Taking historical facts that are slowly and maliciously being erased and re-shaped for the good of the few, a film like Katips stands its ground in upholding the truth, especially for those who no longer lived to tell their own tales.

Watch the official trailer of Katips: The Movie here: