Workshops & Film Screenings


Friday, October 22, 2010
Baruch College- City University of New York
55 Lexington Ave
New York, 10010


Saturday, October 23, 2010
Stevens Institute of Technology
1 Castle Point on Hudson
Hoboken, NJ 07030


Sunday, October 24, 2010
Downtown Community Television (DCTV)
87 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10013


tickets are $10/each

to purchase tickets click links above  or call the numbers below:




Synopsis of “DUKOT (Desaparecidos)”

Written by:  Bonifacio P. Ilagan/ Directed by: Joel C. Lamangan

EXTRAJUDICIAL killings and enforced disappearances of militant activists, crusading journalists and government critics constitute one of the more disturbing phenomena in recent years in the Philippines.

Since 2001 when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo became president, over a thousand cases have been recorded by the human rights organization Karapatan. No less than the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in the Philippines, absolutely pro-status quo, issued a rejoinder to the Philippine government.  Then there was Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, who came, looked into the situation, and filed a report indicting the present government for the “culture of impunity” now reigning in the country.

The Philippine government has flatly rejected responsibility and denied complicity in these heinous crimes, professing adherence to the Bill of Rights and to all international protocols on human rights.

“Dukot” could very well be the first full-length film that gives the lie to the claim. It deals squarely with the “culture of impunity” that has, of late, made possible the Maguindano massacre of 57 people, including 31 journalists.

The film takes off from the abduction of Junix who is listed in the so-called Order of Battle of the military, actually a death list.  A student leader, he left school to devote his full time to organizing peasants and the indigenous community in the hills.  On the early morning that he disappears, he meets up with his girlfriend Maricel who works in a call center. She used to be a student activist, too, but had abandoned the movement for family reasons.

The parents of Junix team up with Sonia, Maricel’s widowed mother, to search for the missing.  Ably assisted by a human rights group, they go to military camps, morgues, and common graves. They, too, seek the intervention of the court of justice.  The quest leads them nowhere – until a damning piece of evidence against the military establishment surfaces.  Meanwhile, Junix and Maricel undergo untold torture in the course of their interrogation.

In this horrid sojourn in search of the missing, the story of Junix and Maricel – and the seething unrest and its consequent social movement in the Philippines – unravels.

Junix and Maricel are eventually killed by their captors.  But that is not the end of the drama:  Something else happens in the pursuit of justice.

“Dukot” is based on true stories.  All incidents in it have actually happened. ###



“’Dukot (Desaparecidos) is no doubt the most courageous full-length Filipino film ever produced in decades.

“The collaboration of Palanca awardee Bonifacio Ilagan and multi-awarded director Joel Lamangan resulted in a powerful film that continues the tradition of Lino Brocka and Mike de Leon — that is, tackling socially relevant subjects and politically charged themes.


‘Dukot’s fearlessness emanates from its depiction of the truth about the worsening human-rights situation in the country today. As Ilagan put it: ‘It minces no words in pointing out the real perpetrators of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.”

Ronalyn V. Olea,

August 15, 2009

“Four presidents after (martial law), the stench that reeked out of the dictatorial administration still lingers today. A number of leftists and critics of the government have been deprived of their liberty through forced disappearances. This is the weighty social reality depicted in Joel Lamangan‘s “Dukot (Desaparecidos).” *****“This alarming slice-of-life is juxtaposed with an emotional element that made the film more powerful.”


“With the barrage of sensationalized news headlines that come with our morning coffee, we can’t be blamed for becoming apathetic to the country’s social condition. Sometimes, it gets hard to separate the truth from yellow journalism. But after watching ‘Dukot,’ it would be damning not to care.”


“‘Dukot’ is a difficult film to watch but what makes it even more difficult to accept is the fact that these inhuman acts are still happening in society.”


“Penned by Palanca awardee Bonifacio Ilagan (who cowrote ‘The Flor Contemplacion Story’), this film is an account of the stories of real life desaparecidos (literally the disappeared ones). Ilagan, who is a political detainee himself, produces a timely and courageous political thriller as a protest against forced disappearances and human rights violations in the Philippines.

Fidel Antonio Medel, “’Dukot is a

Powerful Yet Difficult Movie to  Watch”

Pep Magazine,  September 28, 2009

“The movie rightfully belongs to mainstream, and anyone who says it is an indie does not know the A-Z of filmmaking.”*****“This is the kind of film I love to do,” multi-awarded director Joel Lamangan said. “After reading Boni Ilagan’s script, I saw the material’s purpose and authority… It’s a singular honor to do this film project. As filmmakers, we have advocacies other than entertainment, to show reality and make our viewers think about social issues confronting us.

“The director was also a victim of human rights violations, which made the film project close to his heart. The scriptwriter, Boni Ilagan, a Palanca awardee, was also a victim of abduction and torture, a political detainee when he was a student activist.

“It took sometime before the movie project was filmed. No producer would take it because of the sensitive topic and its direct confrontation with the military.”

Crispina Martinez-Belen, “‘Dukot,’

A Fearless Movie,” Manila Bulletin

November  22, 2009

“Iza doesn’t disappoint us with her performance. She really is to the camera born. Here in ‘Dukot,’ she proves for the nth time what a great actress she truly is.“On the part of Allen, he surpasses his performance in ‘Paupahan’ (where he recently got a Famas Best Actor trophy) and tempers his acting as the political activist made to suffer for his beliefs that are not in accordance with what government authorities impose on the people. The supporting cast who make life hell for him are so effective in their respective roles that they are hateful on screen: John Apacible, Jim Pebangco and Benjie Felipe.“Robert Arevalo and Raquel Villavicencio (as Allen’s parents) are also outstanding as they display their fear, anger and helplessness to help find their missing son.

“As the politically unaware mother of Iza, this is supposed to be just another difficult role for Gina Alajar. But she still gives her all and we all sympathize with her character as we watch her develop from a simple housewife and mother to a concerned citizen on her way to political awakening.”


“’Dukot’ actually serves as a rude awakening to the public that occasionally gets upset when something as macabre as the Maguindanao massacre happens — and then we forget and go back to our merry ways… Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board, ‘Dukot’ reminds us that 23 years after Marcos lost his power, something in this country still ought to be fixed.”

Butch Francisco, “A Rude Awakening”

Star Bytes, Philippine Star

December 3, 2009

“Amid mass killings such as those in Ampatuan town and the country’s slide down various human rights watch lists, the film ‘Dukot’ is very timely… ‘Dukot’ is eerily close to the reality of political ideologies and the roles that come with them.”*****“All the film’s elements–its plot, music, dialogue– add to its melodrama and its haunting effects.

“It is supposed to unseat the reader, by posing questions like ‘What are you, as a citizen, supposed to do about the issue?’  The film also poses the question like who is really promoting terrorism here — the so-called leftists or state institutions? It is meant to disturb its audiences out of their comfort zones and consider things that are happening in society, like unabated killings and kidnappings.”

Boy Villasanta, ABS-CBN

December 8, 2009

“I was seated (in the Davao City premiere) with a co-alumnus of the prison years… She liked  the script of Boni (Ilagan) very much; I shared her views… There is economy of words and yet (the film proves to be) quite powerful.
“There was also humor which the audience caught… It was good that Boni employed humor . . . because the film was indeed heavy… The torture scenes seemed extended.  I don’t know, but I felt that there could have been a little bit more restraint. As they say, less is more. There were a number of Europeans in the audience and I think two — who were seated behind us —  left before the film ended; they could not take it any longer.“But I would not deny Joel (Lamangan) his desire to extend the torture and rape scenes. His audience are not Europeans . . .  but Filipinos.  And we Filipinos seem to go for more.*****

“And after all these years . . . I still cringed at scenes that reminded me of those dangerous days…  I just hope I can get a good night’s rest tonight, because somehow those scenes do penetrate there in the deepest corner of the mind.”

Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR

December 4, 2009

“Indeed, the audience would be attracted to the physicality of (lead actors Iza) Calzado and (Allen) Dizon, but (such physicality) was not misused by the director and writer in the same manner that it is abused  by others who do mainstream films.”*****“The film directly points at the State – and even at President (Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo – as the culprit in the abductions and killings.”


“The public imagination and rage that could be aroused (by ‘Dukot’) shall form part of the continuing epic about the quest for justice for the oppressed and for those whose rights are being trampled upon,  for those who love their fellows and country purely.

Ilang-Ilang D. Quijano, “’Dukot’:

Intertwined with Justice”

PinoyWeekly Online, August 31, 2009

“Many of those who watched the recent premiere of the movie ‘Dukot’ (at the University of the Philippines Film Insitute) got out of the theater teary-eyed – and enlightened about the atrocious human-rights situation in the Philippines.“For student Ashley Cruz, activists being abducted or tortured are mere news items. That was until she saw the film ‘Dukot’ written by Bonifacio Ilagan and directed by Joel Lamangan.”


“’It was hard for me then to form an opinion about abducted and tortured activists in the news,’ Rachelaine Tubera said. ‘But through ‘Dukot,’ I am now well informed of what is really happening.

“’Centro Escolar University student Rick Caruncho was impressed with the movie. ‘The movie is a slap to the government,’ he said.

“Juan Rodrigo Pineda, a nurse, said he now has a higher regard for activists. He admires how activists are willing to sacrifice even their own lives for the sake of the Filipino people.”


“(Nurse Juan Rodrigo) Pineda said his favorite part in the movie is the scene where a press conference is held by the parents of the abducted activists. (They were)  asking the government to surface their children. ‘It only shows that the torture is not only inflicted on the activists who were abducted but also on their families.., “ Pineda said, admitting that he became teary-eyed in the scene.”

Janess Ann J. Ellao, “For Viewers of

‘Dukot,’  Reality Bites,”

November 20, 2009


“I grew up apathetic and apolitical.  I never became an activist.  But I was shaken by the script (of Boni Ilagan)…  I learned so much as we did the film.  I had been enlightened about what’s happening to the country these days. “ Iza Calzado, Cast, ‘Dukot” Interview, Inquirer Libre

December 3, 2009

“I cried after reading the script. I got scared, too, for its courage and honesty. I talked to my husband… We agreed that this may not earn but we’ll pull it through…Win or lose, we’re doing a significant movie.”Carina Pagcu, Co-Producer, ‘Dukot’“(Director Joel) Lamangan dispenses no frills in this well-told story, and (screenwriter Bonifacio) Ilagan is unapologetic in his ideology – reasons why the older viewer with memories of martial law would better appreciate the film.  For younger moviegoers, ‘Dukot ‘ is educational because it warns of seething reality still present in our midst….”Philippine Cinema Evaluation Board, on granting “Dukot” Grade A, with a 100%

tax rebate