Ma' Rosa

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Ma' Rosa
Ma Rosa poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byBrillante Mendoza
Produced byLarry Castillo
Written byTroy Espiritu
StarringJaclyn Jose
Music byTeresa Barrozo
CinematographyOdyssey Flores
Edited byDiego Marx Dobles
Center Stage Productions
Distributed byFilms Distribution, Paris
Release date
  • 18 May 2016 (2016-05-18) (Cannes)
  • 6 July 2016 (2016-07-06) (Philippines)
Running time
110 minutes

Ma' Rosa is a 2016 Filipino drama film directed by Brillante Mendoza. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[1][2] At Cannes, Jaclyn Jose won the award for Best Actress.[3] It was selected as the Filipino entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards but it was not nominated.[4]


Rosa (Jaclyn Jose) is married to Nestor (Julio Diaz) with whom she has four children. Rosa's family runs a sari-sari store in a neighborhood in Manila. The income from the small convenience store business alone isn't enough to meet the family's daily needs, so illegal drugs particularly "ice" or crystal meth are also sold at Rosa's store. One day police officers arrest Rosa and Nestor for selling drugs and ask them for "bail money" or a bribe for the couple's release. Rosa's children, left on their own to deal with the struggles of daily life, find a way to free their detained parents.



Director Brillante Mendoza decided to make the film to tackle the issue of small-scale drug selling in the Philippines which he says is really happening in the country and described the situation as alarming. Mendoza noted that the concept of corruption which is a subject of the film appeals to a worldwide audience since he says that corruption is happening in many different countries on a different scale.[5]

Ma' Rosa was originally titled Palit Ulo. The film was shot in Mandaluyong during the rainy season of 2015 and was supported by French distributor firm, Film Distribution.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The film holds 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[7] Maggie Lee of Variety reviewed the film and said "Boasting a simple, coherent plot shot with real-time, handheld verismo, it’s a work of understated confidence that will not disappoint his festival acolytes, but probably won’t win many new converts".[8] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian stated that "Ma'Rosa is made with control and clarity, a narrative purpose which is held on to despite an apparently aimless docu-style, and a clear sense of jeopardy".[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup". IndieWire. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Cannes Film Festival Winners: Palme d'Or To Ken Loach's 'I, Daniel Blake'". Deadline. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  4. ^ "'Ma' Rosa' is PH's entry to Oscars 2017". CNN Philippines. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Brillante Mendoza spotlights Filipino family's poverty in Cannes film 'Ma Rosa'". GMA News. Reuters. 20 May 2016.
  6. ^ San Diego, Bayani Jr. (18 April 2016). "Cannes welcomes back Filipino filmmaker". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Ma' Rosa". Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  8. ^ Lee, Maggie (18 May 2016). "Cannes Film Review: Ma' Rosa". Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  9. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (18 May 2016). "Ma'Rosa review: a cold, hard look at what it means to be poor". Retrieved 15 September 2016 – via The Guardian.

External links[edit]