ONCE A MOTH (1976) [Feature]

Philippines (MIFF 1979 )
Director: Lupita A. Concio

Corazon de la Cruz is a Filipino nurse. The film's title metaphorically describes her as a 'moth', who is preparing to travel to the alluring 'flame' of the United States. Many of her friends, and her family, share this enthusiasm, while Bonifacio, her boyfriend, plans to join the US Navy.

The US Air Force has a Base in the area, where Bonifacio's mother runs a PX goods store and also works in a grocery shop inside the Base. Here, incidents occur that begin to shake Corazon's illusions about America. During practice shooting, three boys are accidentally killed by Airforce men. In an incident, Bonifacio's mother is publicly humiliated by a female guard.

Finally, these events are climaxed by the tragic death of Carlito, Corazon's beloved brother. He is shot by a guard at the base, who claims he mistook the boy for a roaming wild boar.

Corazon loses all her illusions and takes action against the guard, believing him to be guilty of murder. But her attempt to bring him to trial in a Filipino court is foiled when the guard is suddenly transferred out of the country.

Although she has failed, Corazon comes to realise the value of her newly-found commitment. She says, 'At least, people will know that once there was a moth who dared to challenge the eagle'.

Lupita A. Concio

Born in the Philippines, studied communications in Washington. On returning to the Philippines, she produced 37 television shows over 16 years.

Features: Alkitrang Dugo (1976), Once a Moth, Magandang Gabi Sa Inyong Lahat (1976), Ibalik Mo Ang Araw sa Mundong Makasalanan (1977).

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