Skip to main content

DEATHROW

Philippines, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus)

Director: Joel Lamangan

Sonny Corpus, 16, orphaned and loose on the streets of Manila, makes a near fatal mistake when he offers to be a lookout for a group of pals planning a home invasion. An elderly woman is killed and a policeman wounded when the thieves botch their getaway. Only Sonny is nabbed and, due to the fact that he cannot produce a birth certificate, he is tried as an adult and sentenced to die.

Sonny is tossed into Manila's hellish national prison, an innocent amongst ruthless and hardened convicts. His only hope is the affection of Sinat, a 70-year-old former gang leader, feared and respected by all the inmates. Deathrow is a harrowing film offering a glimpse of life inside, reminiscent of Midnight Express (1978). Sonny fights for justice, seeking an appeal with only an alcoholic attorney in his corner. In prison he fights to keep his humanity when only animal instinct seems to guarantee survival.

"Performances, pacing and atmosphere make Deathrow a compelling look at a very different incarceration system." - Variety

Joel Lamangan acted and directed for the stage and television before moving into feature filmmaking. Previous works include Darnas (1991), Pusong Mamon (1999) and Sidhi (1999).

See also...

BLOSSOMING OF MAXIMO OLIVEROS, THE

“Solito's directorial debut as a dramatic filmmaker seems itself like a flower amid the grit of most contemporary cinema.” - Sundance Film Festival ... The purity of first love is pitted against ... More »

TORO

This controversial film concerns a cry for help from people struggling to maintain their existence by surrendering dignity and imagining hope. Roily, the son of a dying prostitute, earns his living ... More »

MUSA: THE WARRIOR

1375 and China is in chaos: the Ming Dynasty has seized power from the Yuan. Korea's ancient government sends a delegation of diplomats and soldiers to China to pledge peace. Ambushed and exiled to ... More »

QUITTING

Jia Hong Sheng was an emerging film star in the early 90s, nicknamed 'the thug idol' for playing gangsters and heroes in 'B' movies, when he branched out and starred in a stage version of Kiss of the ... More »

CAMEL(S)

A man and a woman, having once met in the pharmacy where the woman works, drive to a hotel in a small seaside town near Seoul. Only on the way does the man ask the woman her name. Each has their own ... More »

ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU

"Shunji Iwai achieved international recognition with Love Letter (1995) and April Story (MIFF 1999), and with this quietly devastating, often hauntingly beautiful portrait of troubled youth, he has ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director