Lino Brocka

Active - 1970 - 2004  |   Born - Apr 3, 1949 in Philippines  |   Died - May 21, 1991   |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Lino Brocka was the best known filmmaker in the Philippines. During his 20 year career, Brocka made at least 50 movies; many of which were notable for their political content -- some of which called for violence. Though he made many commercial films, they were just the springboard for the political, more personal films that were dear to him. His first phase was spent establishing himself. He began his career as a script supervisor on Eddie Romero's productions. Brocka made his directorial debut in 1970 with Wanted: Perfect Mother. He then began working with Lea Productions where he came out with eight more commercial films before deciding to make films independently. He then withdrew from filmmaking for about two years. In 1974 he made his return with his own production company, CineManila where he created his most powerful films such as Maynila, sa mga kuko ng liwanag, a strongly critical film that chronicles a young man's realization that his own problems reflect the problems of his country. Brocka's name earned international recognition during the 1978 Cannes Film Festival with his passionate story Insiang. He made many films at CineManila, but in 1976, the company went bankrupt and Brocka resumed making commercial films with the occasional independent film thrown in when he could swing it.

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  • Suffered abuse from his relatives and did hard labor after his father became a victim of a political murder.
  • Managed to win a scholarship at the University of The Philippines, where he first joined the Dramatic Club.
  • Dropped out of college and converted to Mormonism to work as a missionary.
  • Made his directorial debut with the film Wanted: Perfect Mother (1970).
  • Fought for social justice through his films like Ora Pro Nobis (1989) and Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak (1990).
  • A car accident was the reason for his untimely death.
  • Pandayang Lino Brocka Political Film and New Media Festival was launched in 2009 in his honor.