A film critic who writes for the Hollywood Reporter has -- perhaps fittingly, given its titl e-- said that Treb Monteras' "Respeto" is deserving of the respect it has been earning throughout its festival run abroad after making its bow in the US this week.
Following successful premieres in the Netherlands, South Korea, and China, the award-winning rap movie starring Abra arrived in New York as part of the city's Asian Film Festival that began last June 29.
In his review, Clarence Tsui dubs it as a gripping, "politically charged hip-hop/poetry mashup" that aims to show the harm of having a president who "readily encourage(s) corrupt cops, trigger-happy paramilitaries and confused soldiers to do whatever they want in the name of God and country."
"Laced with social commentary and scintillating musical scenes,
'Respeto' offers much more than its verses combined," Tsui said, before tipping his hat towards actors Abra and Dido De La Paz.
He said that the cast, highlighting Abra and De La Paz, delivered performances "radiating fury and confusion as they confront an intolerable reality getting grimmer every day."
"Respeto," which has been winning several major movie awards locally, is one of the Filipino films which are included in the lineup of this year's New York Asian Film Festival.
The others are Mikhail Red's "Neomanila," Richard Somes' "We Will Not Die Tonight," and Viva Film's "Sid & Aya."
Anne Curtis's hotly anticipated action flick, "Buy Bust," has been assigned as the festival's closer.