Jonas Burgos, Karen Empeño and Sheryl Cadapan—victims of human rights violations in the country—are among the 35 Filipino youth and students who were either killed or made to disappear under the current administration. They were members of various youth organizations that answered the clarion call for social change.
Dukot (Desaparecidos) tackles extrajudicial killings and human rights violations under the present regime. It tells the story of an Anakbayan member named Maricel Salvacruz (Iza Calzado). She is kidnapped and raped by her abductors, led by John Apacible, to punish and force her to "cooperate" for the sake of "peace and order." Her boyfriend Junix (Allen Dizon) is also tortured by abductors to extract information about his fellow activists.
Also in the cast are Snooky Serna, Emilio Garcia. Gina Alajar, Robert Arevalo, Felix Roco, Jim Pebangco, Raquel Villavicencio, Mon Confiado, Rico Barrera, John Apacible, Menggie Cobarrubias, Tony Mabesa, Richard Arellano, Benjie Felipe and Armaine Pagcu.
This indie film initially received an "X" rating for its alleged seditious content, specifically the presence of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s portrait in a scene. However, director Joel Lamangan and the movie’s producers fought for it and negotiated with the the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board for a mutually acceptable compromise, hence its approval for theatrical exhibition.
Iza and Allen are expected to join a big rally against human rights violations, on the occasion of the "Human Rights Month" this December. Allen also is thinking about making a follow-up movie based on the recent Ampatuan Massacre in Maguindanao, to be megged by Lamangan and written by Bonifacio Ilagan in 2010.
The Cinema Evaluation Board awarded a Grade A rating to Dukot, making it eligible for a 100 percent tax rebate. According to the CEB, director Joel Lamangan "dispenses no frills in this well-told story and [writer Boni] Ilagan is unapologetic in his ideology, reasons why the older viewers with memories of Martial Law would better appreciate the film. For younger viewers, Dukot is educational because it warns of seething reality still present in our midst."
Dukot had its world premiere during the Montreal World Film Festival last September.
To usher in the commemoration of International Human Rights Day (December 10), the film will start its regular commercial run in theaters nationwide starting December 2. There will be special screenings at UP Los Banos on December 3; Gaisano Country Mall, Davao City on December 4; Baguio City on December 13; and UP Manila on the 3rd week of December.
In January 2010, it will be screened in Iloilo, Roxas City, Bicol, Bulacan, Batangas as well as Japan and Hongkong. By April, it will be shown in Canada and the United States.
Dukot (Desaparecidos) is a project of CDP Events and Entertainment Production and ATD Entertainment Productions.
CLICK HERE to read PEP’s review of the film Dukot.