The Guerrilla is a Poet

GuerillaVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.88 (10 ratings)

Genre: Drama, Documentary

Writers/Directors: Sari Dalena and Kiri Dalena

Cast: Karl Medina, Angeli Bayani, Chanel Latorre, Anthony Falcon, Bong Cabrera, Marcus Madrigal, Willie Nepomuceno, Joma Sison, Julie de Lima, Jes Evardone

Synopsis: The tale of an activist’s journey during the turbulent years of Martial Law, until his capture in the mountains and the dark, nine years of imprisonment that followed, leading to his birth as a poet.

MTRCB Rating: PG-13

Running Time: —



5.0         Pablo Tariman (Yahoo Philippines)

“With so many controversial characters in the film, the Dalenas, however, managed to produce a cohesive film with distinct comfortable boundaries between reportage and propaganda. The cinematography, for one, was magical and the music of Deodato Arellano complemented it while capturing the tension pervading among the protagonists of the film.” (Read full review)

5.0         Jake Soriano (Banana Chews)

“Great poetry, according to the great poet Auden (writing about the great poet Brodsky), says something both unique and universal, something original but as soon as said is recognized valid by the readers. The Guerilla is a Poet in its poetic vision does that; it is great poetry.” (Read full review)

4.5         Rianne Hill Soriano (Business World)

“What makes this film work in different levels is its strong and well-written settings and characterizations, as well as its careful and skillful infusion of poetry and songs. The elements of humor and drama provide the right dynamics and humanity to the tale.” (Read full review)

4.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The docudrama is somewhat of an underutilized form. The Dalenas use it to great effect, bending artfulness with hard research in ways that are infinitely compelling.” (Read full review)

4.0         Yanni Fernan (Pinoy Weekly)

“Kapansin-pansin ang husay ni Angeli Bayani na gumanap na Julie, lapat na lapat sa karakter.  Bagaman hindi masyadong nahuli ni Karl Medina ang karakter ni Joma, mahusay at malinaw siyang bumigkas ng mga salita  at kapani-paniwala bilang lider, rebolusyonaryo at aktibista.” (Read full review)

4.0         Mari-An Santos (PEP)

“The film presents Joma not merely as a looming figurehead of the threat of communism but as a romantic, a poet, even a singer, and a man with a sense of humor.” (Read full review)

3.75         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (A Girl and a Gun)

“The result is always interesting if not always completely successful. Despite the great performances from the re-enactments, I found myself preferring to listen to the real life accounts directly from the horses’ mouth. Overall, still a compelling, interesting film worth watching.” (Read capsule review)

3.5         Renelson Morelos (Re[e]l Thoughts)

“ The docu-drama approach may initially feel awkward and stagey, but as it went on, one may realize that it actually allowed the filmmakers to put the heyday of a revolutionary movement’s founding from the perspective of a guerrilla already in his twilight years. This somewhat lends a sense of poignancy and nostalgia to the historical situations (big or small) transpiring onscreen.” (Read full review)

3.0         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“Karl has a very realistic portrayal of an activist, but it was hard to see him as Joma Sison, especially since we see the real Joma also in the same film.” (Read full review)

1.5         Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“Interminable at a full 2 ½ hours, a time that should have been more than enough to answer all the rumors swirling around the man, what we get is digression and detour. Amorphous, there is no rhyme or reason, no dramatic arc to be gleaned, just anecdotes stitched together in an incoherent skein, with an occasional, intermittent line from Sison that makes us wonder about the veracity or fictiveness of what is being portrayed.” (Read full review)

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