Controversial 1977 MMFF movie “Mga Bilanggong Birhen,” a period drama that gave audiences harrowing glimpses of the American-occupation-era Philippines, is back for new and younger audiences to view as ABS-CBN Film Restoration brings its digitally-restored version to Cinema ‘76 Classics line-up from October 4 to 27.
Directed by Mario O’Hara and Romy Suzara, the movie starred Rez Cortez, Leroy Salvador, Mario Montenegro, Armida Siguion-Reyna, and a young Alma Moreno.
The movie served as a commentary on the state of the Philippines in the 1920 s. Set in a Visayan town in 1923 , the movie shows the resurgence of the “pulajanes” or the revolutionary movement after feelings of frustration of the American regime started to grow: the upper class still ruled society, poverty was still widespread, and injustice in the agrarian system remained prevalent.
The movie was a follow up to the late great director Mario O’Hara’s “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos.”
At the movie’s premiere at Cinema ’76 Anonas, Alma Moreno expressed her gratitude for having been given the chance to be a part of the movie. “Noong una akong tinawagan na na-restore itong “Mga Bilanggong Birhen, hindi ako naniwala. Pero nagpapasalamat ako kasi nandito ‘rin si Direk Romy at syempre, kahit wala na siya, kay Tita Midz na kumuha sa akin sa movie na ito. Sobrang ganda po nito….batang-bata pa po ako noon pero ang dami ko pong natututunan sa’yo,” Alma said.
Suzara offered words of gratitude for the chance to continue what was started by Mario O’ Hara as well as for the restoration efforts that ABS-CBN had for the movie. “Salamat naman sa ABS-CBN dahil na-restore nila nang magandang-maganda ang pelikula,” Romy said.
Beginning October 4 and every Friday and weekends thereafter, “Mga Bilanggong Birhen” will be shown exclusively in Cinema ‘76’s San Juan and Anonas branches, along with eight other digitally-restored Filipino movies that now occupy the stature as some of the best ones ever made–“Ganito Kami Noon Paano Kayo Ngayon?,” “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo,” “Nunal sa Tubig,” “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos,” “Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?,”Ligaya Ang Itawag Mo Sa Akin,” “Ang TV Movie: The Adarna Adventure,” and “Saan Ka Man Naroroon.”
The ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project has already restored 180 titles, some of which have already been featured in international film fests, local red carpet premieres, free-to-air and cable television, pay-per-view and video-on-demand platforms, DVD releases, & iTunes.