As we mentioned in Brillante Mendoza
’s “Mindanao” the homonymous island has been a place of violent conflict since the 60s, when President Marcos’s tactics that promoted Christian settling in the area, resulted in the displacement of the local Muslim population. The Maguindanao massacre (2009), the Mamasapano clash (2015) and the Battle of Marawi (2017) are the latest in a series of bloody events, and the area is still under martial law, following the orders of President Duterte. Three years before Mendoza’s effort, Sheron Dayoc shot another movie that focuses on the troubled area, with his approach being quite realistic, as dictated by the story, but also the fact that the cast is comprised completely of local non-actors who use the Tausug dialect throughout the film.
The movie focuses on the story of Satra, a young widow whose family feud with the Ishmaels that started over stolen land some generations ago,