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Directed by Alberto Monteras II

  • Philippines 2017; 96 min
  • Original version: Tagalog
  • Genre: Fiction
    • Best Film - Cinemalaya FF
    • Best Supporting Actor (Dido Le Paz) - Cinemalaya FF
    • Best Editing - Cinemalaya FF
    • Best Film Award - Cyprus FDIF


Hendrix dreams of hip-hop greatness, but he’s spiraling down a rabbit-hole of crime and poverty until he meets Doc, an old poet still haunted by his martial law past. Can they turn each other’s lives around before they’re swallowed by their circumstance? The film celebrates the power of verses. This movie is charged with music, rap and poetry expressing the era of violence in the Philippines today.

Director's Statement

I’ve always wanted to make a film about the hiphop culture in the Philippines. That was the dream. When I started this project I thought I will be making a film about the lives of the underground battle rappers, their music, their struggles and how their lives are parallel to the lives of old poets during the Martial Law era - but it became more than that. Last June 2016, our country elected a new leader, President Rodrigo Duterte. The moment he took office, he launched a war on drugs that has resulted in the extrajudicial deaths of thousands of alleged drug dealers and users across our country. On the first day of our filming, real undercover police agents entered our set, and walked in front of our cameras. They were pursuing a suspected drug dealer and would have been gunned down had he not concealed himself behind an elderly woman. Community members told us that they are used to these kinds of situations and has become part of their daily lives. Everyday, people are being arrested or gunned down and left to die in the streets. We don’t know what happened to the police's target afterwards. In November, Duterte stunned the nation by allowing the body of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in the National Heroes' Cemetery amid intense protests that his abuses and corruption exempted him from such an honor. With these things that were happening in our country, I knew that this film cannot be just about the Philippine Hiphop Culture. We felt that we really needed to say something. With the help of my team, we revised the structure, rewrote the script and redeveloped the characters. And RESPETO became one the first films to truly tackle the Philippine’s war on drugs and the endless cycle of violence in our communities.



    Monster Jimenez