Dekada '70 - Movie Review

Nov 19, 2015
dekada 70 review

In ‘Dekada ‘70’, we see a suburban family slowly transforming and maturing as each of its member lust for their own respective freedoms. The minute we see them, we are questioned on under what circumstance can a happy and peaceful family like this change in the course of the film. Ferdinand Marcos, on his first term seems like a promising President. Even so, the father of the Bartolome family, Julian (Christopher De Leon) was very happy on how the government flows that he put his money on Marcos for a second time. But in 1972, a re-elected Marcos declared martial law on television. On this moment of the film, as the Bartolome family glued their eyes in front of their television set on the broadcasted announcement, is where the story really starts. That jolly family we saw minutes ago is no more. 

Even the children starts to unfold between our eyes: Jules (Piolo Pascual) became a high-ranking official in a resistance movement; Emmanuel (Marvin Agustin), because of his love for literature, starts to write revolutionary pieces in a time where such content is banned for good; Gani (Carlos Agassi) wants out of the Philippines to work as a soldier in U.S.; Jason (Danilo Barrios) hits puberty and would normally go home after midnight because of his girlfriend and presumed drug influence; and Bingo (John Wayne Sace) is the sole child that doesn’t do much, instead plays as the spectator of his brothers as they are slowly molding into completely different ones. These different ambitions for different freedoms played as the moral center of the film. But what is the better freedom worth fighting for: the freedom for our own self, our family or the whole nation? 

dekada 70 review

The battle for the whole nation became a very big priority for Jules and Emmanuel that they would occasionally forget to fight for their own family, as shown in their dismay after learning the death of their own brother Jason. Amanda, the five children’s mother, would even scold them because according to her: family triumphs everything and warn them to diss their revolutionary actions. But in a time where the whole country needs one another, our own family would create the impression as a second-priority because a life is worth sacrificing to the lives of many than to one.

dekada 70 review

The striking image of a kite waving through the air was prominently shown a few times in the movie. It denotes Filipinos who tried many ways just to go upper to reach their own independence. A kite made out of a propaganda newspaper was even shown flying in one scene. 

dekada 70 review

Dekada ‘70’ is a celebration of the facets every Filipino faces in order to reach the uppermost layer that is freedom. That despite the challenges and obstacles each one of us faces, we knew in our own selves that there is no point of stopping. Whether that fight is for our love to our self, family or the whole nation, there is freedom out there that’s worth reaching. And at the end of the movie, the Bartolome family rallies with the resistance movement to overthrow Ferdinand Marcos out of his presidential position which although never shown, they succeeded. But the question now is whether this new-found independence in them actually prosper? 

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