To have Filipino films currently available for streaming at Netflix PH is worth celebrating, even if there are just a couple listed in its library (namely, Birdshot (dir. Mikhail Red) and Amo (dir. Brilliante Mendoza)). As the online video platform continues to expand to add thousands of well-loved shows from all over the world, here are 8 local must-watch films we’re hoping Netflix would add next:
For: history buffs
Heneral Luna (dir. Jerrold Tarog, starring John Arcilla) is probably one of the most well-made indie films our generation has ever been graced with. This biopic depicts the rise and fall of General Antonio Luna during the Philippine-American War when he served as the Supreme Chief of the Army under the First Philippine Republic. This film broke records as the highest grossing historical film of all time and is set to have a sequel called Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral which will focus on the life of Gregorio Del Pilar.
For: those who want the classics
When it comes to local Pinoy film classics, one can’t neglect to mention this 1982 masterpiece directed by National Artist Ishmael Bernal. Himala explores religion, poverty, and the desperation to believe in something told through the story of Elsa (Nora Aunor), a simpleton who becomes a local faith healer after reportedly seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary at a barren hill.
For: those who like gore
One of Brilliante Mendoza’s best films Kinatay is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. The story revolves around a newly-wedded criminology student (Coco Martin) who accepts an offer to make easy money by a friend, and accidentally joins a syndicate who kidnap a bar hostess deep in debt. Through its raw, morbid, and brutal scenes, Kinatay speaks loudly about the cruelty that happens hidden in the dark and dirty corners of Manila.
For: those who need quality LGBT+ films
This well-loved MMFF 2016 dramedy made us laugh out loud from its nicely-timed humor and wit, amazingly delivered by Paolo Ballesteros, who plays a transgender woman named Trisha Echevarria with a dream of becoming a beauty queen, and Christian Bables, who plays Trisha’s best friend Barbs. At the same time, it drove a knife right through our hearts as we witness the struggles and torment Trisha had endured up until her last days.
For: indie film lovers
Ang Nawawala (dir. Marie Jamora) has captured the hearts of indie film and music lovers because of its melancholic story of Gibson (Dominic Roco) who has refused to talk since the death of his twin brother Jamie (Felix Roco). The movie takes place after Gibson returns home for Christmas and struggles through his strained relationship with his family, socializing with his friends, and chasing a girl he likes.
Sunday Beauty Queen
For: lurkers of the documentary genre
Also an entry to the MMFF 2016, Sunday Beauty Queen was likewise a favorite among moviegoers because of its heartwarming story of overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong and the activities they organize during their one free day of the week.
Patay na si Hesus
For: those who live for dark comedy
Patay Na si Hesus successfully caught audiences off-guard by showing one of the wildest stories we could ever imagine. Its story of a Cebuano family on a road trip to visit their estranged father who had just passed away is comedic gold, and there are never any dull moments (which kind of means you’ll suffer aching abdominal muscles from laughing 90 minutes straight).
Smaller and Smaller Circles
For: fans of thrilling crime films
Based on a novel of the same name by F. H. Batacan, Smaller and Smaller Circles is a thrilling detective film that will keep you at the edge of your seat at every twist and turn of events. It focuses on two Jesuit priests, Gus Saenz (Nonie Buencamino) and Jerome Lucero (Sid Lucero), who get involved in uncovering the mystery of a series of murders of young boys in Payatas.
What other Filipino film do you think should be shown on Netflix? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!