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191 Ratings


Directed by Lino Brocka
Philippines, 1976


Insiang lives with her mother Tonya in a hovel in the city outskirts. After being raped by Dado, her mother’s criminal companion, Insiang runs away with her boyfriend. But when he abandons her, all the girl can do is return home.

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Insiang Directed by Lino Brocka
Beyond ethnographic verisimilitude (in itself a dubious marker of quality, especially for underrepresented national cinemas), the (Pyhrric) triumph of Insiang is how it illustrates the district itself bearing down on its inhabitants, the sinuous alleyways and cluttered canals mapping the physical and psychic burden of a downtrodden, poverty-ridden population.
September 28, 2017
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Released the same year as Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses, Brocka’s film maintains a similarly unsparing focus on sexual violence and the simultaneously physical and psychological prison it creates for its victims. If Insiang is dubiously feminist in any strict sense, its persistent focus on Insiang’s eye line suggests a passageway into her mind and experience that more common rape-revenge thrillers wholly omit.
May 31, 2017
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It must be said that the artistic quality of his films varies widely, and that may explain why film preservationists and festival curators keep coming back to Insiang as Brocka’s one unassailably compelling masterwork… A small film in some respects, it is also an uncanny, resonant blend of neorealism and melodrama.
May 30, 2017
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