Far East Film Festival 20

Udine Italy April 20th/ April 28th 2018
The Film Festival For Popular Asian Cinema
Visionario, Via Asquini 33
Monday, April 24, time 11.00 AM

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Three Years Without God

As World War 2 breaks into the Philippines, the life of school teacher Rosario (Nora Aunor) is totally shattered. She is courted by Crispin (Bembol Roco), but Captain Ma­sugi (Christopher de Leon), a Japanese born in the Philippines, choses Rosario’s house to settle. One night, under the influence of alcohol, he rapes her. As she becomes preg­nant after the rape, she rejects Masugi’s courtship and presents, while Crispin joins the guerrillas who fight the Japanese. But, over the passing time, she eventually develops a strange kind of love for the Japanese officer and finally agrees to marry him. As a result, the town folks believe Rosario is a collaborator to the Japanese, and become hostile to her and family. A hard time begins for the estranged couple.
When the American forces return to the Philippines in 1945, Rosario and Masugi must flee with the disbanded Japanese Army, or what’s left of it. Is it the end of an impossible love story, condemned by almost everyone?
Three Years Without God is widely regarded as Mario O’Hara best film as a director, with its conflicting romance story between two “enemies” against the violent historical background of World War 2, in a rural context where passions are often hidden. It also shows an unusual vision of that context, as the Japanese officer is not seen as basic evil, as in regular WW2 Filipino movies (where most of the Japanese are played by Chinese actors or extras!) and the Americans are seen as colonialists as the Japanese...
The film also marked the debut of popular matinee actress Nora Aunor in a dramatic role (she won Best Actress awards from Urian and Famas).
According to O’Hara’s strongest admirer, Noel Vera: “Three Years Without God represent­ed a quantum leap in cope and filmmaking skill for O’Hara, and is regarded by many as his finest films” (in Critic After Dark). Also note that Christopher de Leon (Masugi) was Nora’s husband at the time, which makes their relationship in the film more complex.
Max Tessier
Film director: 
O'Hara Mario
Year: 
1976
Running time: 
126

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