Child of Sorrow (film)

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Anak Dalita
Directed byLamberto V. Avellana
Produced byNarcisa de Leon
Written byRolf Bayer
StarringRosa Rosal
CinematographyMike Accion
Release date
  • 20 March 1956 (1956-03-20)
Running time
119 minutes

Child of Sorrow (Tagalog: Anak Dalita; also known as The Ruins) is a 1956 Philippine crime film directed by Lamberto V. Avellana.[1] The film was selected as the Philippine entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 29th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[2] The film won the Best Film Award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.


The story begins with Cita (Rosa Rosal), a prostitute residing in one of the makeshift houses in the squatter colony, strutting down the slums in carefree fashion, donning a dress that seems inappropriate in the slum's state of deprivation, revealing a bit of her cleavage and her shapely legs. Against the overt images of extreme penury, her striking beauty and glamorous get-up seem scandalous and sinful. Everything changes when she arrives at her destination: a pitiful shanty that houses a dying old woman whose only wish is to see for the very last time her only son, a soldier who was sent to the Korean War. Vic (Tony Santos, Sr.), the war hero who returns to Manila and is forced to live within the ruined walls of the cathedral and among the people who have temporarily resided therein, whose left arm was rendered useless by a war injury, returns to the Philippines a hero. His welcome is cut short when Cita's younger brother informs him of his mother's impending death. He rushes to his mother's shanty in the slums and rushes to her bed, and she recognizes his face, greeted by Cita's emphatic stare and her mother's staggered breath. As if it’s the only thing she is waiting before crossing the realm of afterlife, she screams, lays her head on the side, and dies in his arms, leaving Vic in the grips of despair and depression, driving away the concern of people around him including his mother’s friend Cita who struggles to give him hope and win his love. Disillusioned and unemployed he turns to black market trading and currency smuggling.



Year Group Category Nominee Result
1956 Asia Pacific Film Festival Best Film Lamberto V. Avellana Won
1958 FAMAS Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards International Prestige Award of Merit Won


  1. ^ "Anak Dalita". NY Times. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  2. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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