Brillante Bares Text Messages From Abu Sayyaf While Filming ‘Captive’

Though he usually manages to keep details about his films under wraps before completion, director Brillante Mendoza revealed he received text messages from Abu Sayyaf members while he was working on "Captive."

"They texted me not to stop shooting but to make sure na ipakita na ganito ang ginagawa nila. Tumulong sila to make sure na tama ang paglahad ng mga kaganapan," Brillante told Bulletin Entertainment.

"Captive" is an adaptation on the kidnapping of civilians by the Abu Sayyaf at the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan a few years back, told mainly from the perspective of a foreign missionary played in the film by two-time Cannes film festival Best Actress winner Isabelle Huppert.

According to a release from Mendoza, "Captive" is "not just about the hostage-taking but it also reveals the ability of a person to survive when put in an extreme situation."

Looking back, Brillante said he never felt fear nor was he intimidated over the correspondence with the insurgent group.

"Bakit ako matatakot? Saan? I'm not out to malign or glorify anyone. Hindi ganun ang intention ko. Ang gusto ko ay maipakita ang totoong pangyayari at bahala na ang audience to make their own judgment...

"If the audience sympathizes with the Abu Sayyaf or the military after watching the film, karapatan nila yun dahil may sarili silang pag-iisip. Who am I to say kung ano ang dapat nilang isipin? Filmmaker lang naman ako.

"As filmmaker, di mo dapat pangunahan ang audience. Just show them the truth then bahala na sila mag-isip. Besides, I can't please everyone," he said.

The award-winning director refuses to turn his films into "advocacies" for "anyone." Rather, he believes that filmmaking is an advocacy in itself.

"Binigyan ka ng gift na ganito, gamitin mo nang tama. Gagawa ako ng bagay na nagpapakita ng katotohanan kahit pa labag ito sa sarili kong paniniwala."

Some have slammed the director for seemingly showing only the "bad" side of life in the Philippines in his films but Brillante maintains that it's the very reason he considers himself "patriotic."

"I'm a very patriotic person. Mas gusto ko ipakita yung mga totoong nangyayari dito sa atin kasi baka by doing so, pwede pang may mangyaring changes. Kasi otherwise, kung wala akong pakialam, gagawa na lang ako ng mainstream [movie] na di na pag-iisipin masyado ang tao. Ones that would just make them feel relaxed for two hours then wala na," he said.

Brillante shared an anecdote to further underscore his point. After the screening of his film "Tirador" in one of the Japanese film festivals, a Filipino approached him, apparently upset over what was shown before an international audience.

"'Bakit ka gumagawa ng ganitong mga klaseng pelikula?' Galit siya. Sabi ko, 'Kwento po yan sa Pilipinas.' Ang sabi niya, 'Eh bakit kelangan mo pang ipakita? Nagpapakahirap kami sa ibang bansa, tapos ganyan ang nakikita dito. Nawawala lahat ng mga pinaghirapan namin.'

"So tinanong ko siya, 'Gano na po kayo katagal nagtratrabaho dito?' 20 years na daw. 'Bakit po kayo nagtratrabaho ng ganyan katagal sa Japan?' Ang sagot niya, 'Kasi mahirap ang buhay sa Pilipinas."'

Whether the lady realized anything from her answer or not, Brillante said that there are those who "get" what he's trying to do. At the same festival, a Japanese told him that in watching the film, he learned about the Filipinos' resiliency. "Ang mga Pilipino daw ay may dignidad at vina-value ang buhay nila. That despite the life that many of us have here, pilit pa din tayong bumabangon."

Mendoza flatly stated that he is against terrorism and violence. He decided to do "Captive" mainly because he had questions about the matter that he felt, needed some answers. "Nung nag-research ako, andami kong nalaman - kahit yung mga bagay na di ko na dapat malaman."

"Captive" will be shown commercially in theaters nationwide starting on Sept. 5 through the efforts of Star Cinema. Others in the cast are Sid Lucero, Angel Aquino, Maria Isabel Lopez, Raymond Bagatsing, Mercedes Cabral, Ronnie Lazaro, Rustica Carpio, Mon Confiado, Madeleine Nicolas, Neil Ryan Sese, Kristoffer King, and Allan Paule with special participation of Coco Martin and Anita Linda.

Brillante Mendoza is the first and only Filipino who had won Best Director in Cannes.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post
    Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post

    After nearly a year, President Aquino finally made good his promise to a long-time ally – former Cavite governor and congressman Erineo Maliksi – to head the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), replacing Margarita Juico who resigned in May 2014. Maliksi must be officially elected by the PCSO board members as their chairman. Prior to his appointment to the PCSO, Maliksi faced graft charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged illegal purchase of P2.5 million worth …

  • US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense
    US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense

    A massive deployment of aircraft, personnel and warships characterizes this year’s Balikatan between the two allies, which war games were launched 30 years ago. Commander Lued Lincuna, Philippine Navy public affairs chief, said the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) will link  up with the US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. …

  • P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China
    P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China

    With China’s actions threatening to “considerably alter the way of doing business globally,” President Aquino will ask the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a united stand against Beijing’s massive reclamation activities and other provocative acts in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Aquino will raise the appeal to his ASEAN counterparts when they meet on April 27-28 in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia. Beijing reacted immediately to the plan, saying the …

  • OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism
    OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism

    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday backed the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), warning that failure to see the peace process through with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could open the door to extremism. OIC secretary-general Iyad Bin Amin Madani, who is in the country to rally support for the peace process and the BBL, told reporters at the Senate yesterday that the Philippines should not waste the opportunity to attain lasting peace in Mindanao, especially …

  • Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed
    Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed

    The head of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is opposing the plan of the Senate to investigate alleged “justice for sale” in the judiciary. In an interview yesterday, IBP national president Vicente Joyas contested the pronouncement of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Senate Blue Ribbon committee can probe the reported corruption in the judiciary, as it remains part of the scope of the Senate’s investigative power. “The plan of the Senate to push through with the …

  • PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view
    PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view

    The camp of Floyd Mayweather is reportedly charging the Philippine National Police P200,000 for a pay-per-view deal of his fight with Manny Pacquiao, a PNP official said yesterday. Director Danilo Constantino, the PNP’s Chief Directorial Staff, said the cost of the pay-per-view for the fight makes it difficult for the PNP to sponsor the free viewing for its personnel and their dependents at Camp Crame’s multi-purpose center. “We are currently negotiating for the pay-per-view and we ever …

  • No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP
    No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP

    There has been no disruption in the issuance of permits to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFOR) since former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima was suspended in December 2014, an official said yesterday. PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina is the one signing the PTCFOR cards, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said. Cerbo, however, could not say when Espina started signing the cards and how many PTCFORs have …

  • HK pol calls Pinay maids ‘home wreckers’
    HK pol calls Pinay maids ‘home wreckers’

    A senior Hong Kong politician is under fire after she accused some Filipina domestic helpers of seducing their male employers, in comments branded “racist” and “offensive” by critics. There are 300,000 maids in Hong Kong, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, with concern growing among rights groups over their welfare following a string of abuse cases. But lawmaker Regina Ip, a close adviser to the city’s leader Leung Chun-ying and tipped as a future chief executive, cast the maids as …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options