Bona (film)

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Official poster of Bona.jpg
Official poster of Bona for the 1980 Metro Manila Film Festival
Directed byLino Brocka
Produced byNora Aunor
Written byCenen Ramones
StarringNora Aunor, Phillip Salvador
Music byLutgardo Labad
CinematographyConrado Baltazar
Edited byAugusto Salvador
Distributed byNV Productions
Release date
  • 25 December 1980 (1980-12-25)
Box office 13 million

Bona is a 1980 Filipino drama film directed by Lino Brocka, with the film's lead character, Bona, played by acclaimed actress Nora Aunor. It was submitted as an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival that same year.[1]

Bona was also shown at the Directors' Fortnight of the 1981 Cannes International Film Festival, marking Brocka's second appearance at the festival. Bona also gave Aunor her second Gawad Urian best actress trophy.


Bona has been considered as one of the Philippines' greatest movies. It was also cited as one of "The Best 100 Films in the World" by the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, USA in 1997 and has been screened in different film festivals around the world, albeit receiving mixed reviews.

According to a New York Times review, Bona is "chiefly interesting as an example of Philippine film-making and for its glimpses of life in the neighborhood where Bona and Gardo live."[2] It was also screened at the 47th Viennale: Vienna International Film Festival, where Barbara Wurm, Berlin- and Vienna-based film historian, critic, and programmer, described Philippine cinema's Superstar as “the awesome Nora Aunor.[3]

Years later, film critics and bloggers continued to rave about the film. In his article, German film critic Von Lukas Foerster, in a section of his Viennale account, focused on Bona and its lead star, Aunor, and called the movie "Brocka's masterpiece" and Aunor as one of the greatest movie stars of Philippine Cinema.[4] Douglas Racso, another film critic, lauded Brocka, calling him "a true master indeed of filmmaking. And he sure do knows how to bring out the greatness from his actors."[5]

The Philippine Educational Theater Association staged an adaptation of the film from August 24 to September 23, 2012 at the Peta Theater Center. The adaptation was written by Layeta Bucoy and directed by Socrates "Soxie" Topacio. Eugene Domingo played Bona while Edgar Allan Guzman played Gino Sanchez, the stage counterpart of the film's Gardo.[6]



Year Group Category Nominee Result
1982 Figueira da Foz International Film Festival Premio de le Juri de la Federacion Internationale des Cine Clubs (Jury Prize of the International Federation of Cinema Clubs) Won
1981 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards Best Actress Nora Aunor Nominated
Gawad Urian Awards (Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino) Best Actress Nora Aunor Won
Best Actor Philip Salvador Nominated
Best Director Lino Brocka Nominated
Best Picture Nominated


  • 1980 - Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes International Film Festival
  • 1980 - Official Selection, Critics’ Choice Section, 25th London Film Festival, November 12
  • 1981 - Official Selection, Filipino Cinema Panorama, 3rd Festival Des 3 Continents, Nantes, December 1-8
  • 1996 - Fest96: The AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, October 26
  • 1999 - Feature Film: Tribute to Asian Master Lino Brocka, Telluride Film Festival
  • 2005 - Official Selection, Lino Brocka Retrospective, 23rd Torino Film Festival, November 15


  1. ^ "Nora Aunor Filmography". Archived from the original on 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  2. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (1984-09-19). "'BONA' GIVES A GLIMPSE OF LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  3. ^ "Leftist Glamour? or, Home Runs and Explorations: The 47th Viennale: Vienna International Film Festival". Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  4. ^ "CARGO auf der Viennale". Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  5. ^ "RacsOview: Bona (1980)". Retrieved 2013-01-24.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Eugene Domingo: From 'Kimmy Dora' to 'Bona'".
  • Tobias, Mel. One hundred acclaimed Tagalog movies. Canada: Peanut Butter Publishing, 1998.

External links[edit]

Bona on IMDb