Reel views. Real reviews.
    Saturday, September 28, 2013
    THE GUERRILLA IS A POET (Sari and Kiri Dalena, 2013)


    After seeing THE GUERRILLA IS A POET, the new film by sisters Sari and Kiri Dalena, whatever your stand may be on communism, what’s certain is that Jose Maria Sison, or JoMa Sison, or Amado Guerrero (his war name) is indeed an ordinary man who dreams, who loves, and who fights, but whose extraordinary achievements imparted a constant reminder to Ferdinand Marcos during Martial Law that his tyranny shall not go unchallenged. Read more


    by Priscilla Pamintuan

    Ilang tala hinggil sa “Lean” ng UP Repertory Company at “The Guerrilla is a Poet” nina Sari at Kiri Dalena


    Itaas: “The Guerrilla is a Poet”; Ibaba: “Lean”

    Pansin kong dumarami ngayon ang ipinapalabas na mga dokumentaryo’t TV specials na nagpapaalala sa atin sa kabayanihan ng mga Aquino. Noong ika-30 anibersaryo ng Ninoy Aquino assassination, nitong nakaraang anibersaryo ng deklarasyon ng Batas Militar, at tiyak sa susunod na anibersaryo ng unang People Power “revolution”, paulit-ulit na ipapaalala sa atin ang istatus sa kasaysayan ng mga Aquino bilang tagapagligtas ng bayan, noon at ngayon. Read more


    26 September 2013

    Karl Medina-Guerrilla Is a Poet-20130926

    HIS SECOND ‘JOMA.’ Karl as the CPP leader. Photo from ‘The Guerrilla Is a Poet’s’ Facebook

    MANILA, Philippines – Another “Medina” is now in the showbiz spotlight and has even won a best actor award for his first feature film.

    Karl Medina is the eldest son of renowned actor Pen Medina. He is the latest in the family to bring home an acting trophy for his performance as Jose Ma. Sison in the CineFilipino Film Festival entry, “The Guerrilla Is a Poet,” directed by Sari and Kiri Dalena (daughters of distinguished painter Danilo Dalena).

    READ: Newcomer beats Nora Aunor as Best Actress in CineFilipino

    In 2012, Pen’s 3rd son Alex won the best actor award at the Cinema One Originals for his performance in Ato Bautista’s “Palitan.” He recently starred in the Cinemalaya entry “Babagwa” (The Spider’s Lair) by Jason Paul Laxamana. Read more

  • From Kiri Dalena, Co-Director and Co-Editor of the movie:
    The Guerrilla Is a Poet

    Maraming salamat sa lahat ng tumangkilik sa The Guerrilla is a Poet. It is my first full length work as a filmmaker but it would have been impossible to begin, build, and finish it without the support of a huge community. I thank Jose Maria Sison and Julieta De Lima and the activist community for their openness and kindness. I thank the wonderful crew and actors who gave their trust and continued to work with us inspite of the difficulties in pre-production, production, and post production. I thank our family, and friends in the film community who gave us their full support. I thank CineFilipino for taking a risk not just with our film but with the films of the rest of the 7 directors that they selected for their first festival. It has been an unforgettable saga and I suspect that it is far from over. I will thoughtfully name each one of you soon (after my migraine and current work subsides significantly). Padayon!

    JMS & Julie with Life Masks1269118_10151631056088038_873156346_o (1)


  • The poet is a guerrilla

    The guerrilla is like a poet
    Keen to the rustle of leaves
    The break of twigs
    The ripples of the river
    The smell of fire
    And the ashes of departure.

    Jose Maria Sison

    By Carol Pagaduan Araullo
    September 26, 2013

    SARI and Kiri Dalena’s ground-breaking film, The Guerilla is a Poet, takes its

    carolinspiration from Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Founding Chairman Jose Maria “Ka Joma” Sison’s well-known poem “The Guerilla is Like a Poet.” As Prof. Sison points out in the film, the poem was the fruit of his imagination, having been written even before he and Bernabe “Ka Dante” Buscayno founded the New People’s Army (NPA) in March 1969.

    The film’s depiction of revolution in the Philippine setting and life in the revolution is in the same way described, but in a figurative manner, in Prof. Sison’s prescient poem wherein the guerilla fighter at the forefront of “the people’s war” is likened to the poet writing on the same theme and both, in so doing, creatively giving life to “the people’s epic” of revolution.

    The poem itself is a testament to the human element — the “humanity” — in waging a people’s war. Objectively speaking, war, even one with a just cause, can be dehumanizing. Thus the usual portrayal of the guerilla is that of a hardened person inured to his harsh surroundings, incapable of emotions and of the appreciation of the finer things in life such as art and poetry. Prof. Sison’s poem departs from and negates this depiction. Read more

  • Karl Medina, Pen’s eldest son, named CineFilipino Best Actor for portrayal of Joma Sison

    By Edwin P. Sallan
    24 September 2013

    Karl Medina was honestly not aware that his acclaimed portrayal as revolutionary icon Jose Ma. Sison in Sari and Kiri Dalena’s “The Guerrilla is a Poet” would make him a frontrunner for the Best Actor race in the ongoing CineFilipino film festival.

    So when he lived up to many of the  fearless forecasts, a surprised Karl admitted that he really did not expect to win an award for his starmaking role as the Communist Party of the Philippines founder. Read more


    By VERA Files
    The Inbox
    Sun, Sep 22, 2013

    The cast of The Guerilla Is A Poet.

    By Pablo A. Tariman, VERA Files

    A film like “The Guerilla Is a Poet” can be viewed on many levels.

    The cast of The Guerilla Is A Poet.

    The cast of The Guerilla Is A Poet.

    For those who were not yet born anywhere near the declaration of martial law, the film is an apt introduction to the Marcos era of the 60s and the early 70s and how the political and social milieu of that era affected an Ilocano named Jose Ma. Sison who is better known as one of the founders of the pre-martial law Kabataang Makabayan and later, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

    For the record, the filmmakers — Kiri and Sari Dalena — were not born on that critical period of the country’s history. But their curiosity and subsequent research allowed them to know people who defied the establishment to fight for something they believed in.

    They found an interesting subject in the persona of activist Jose Maria Sison who hails from Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.

    And so the filmmakers made a trip to The Netherlands and filmed a reunion that showed the viewers how the activist-turned-revolutionary was doing in that foreign country. Read more


    guerillapoet-coversketch-thumbJose Maria Sison.
    Foreword by Jonas Staal.
    Expected 2013
    ISBN: 978-90-817091-8-7
    296 pages | 5,25″ x 8″
    Language: English, Pilipino
    Price: 15,00 Euro

    This book is titled after the world-renowned poem of Jose Maria Sison, “The Guerrilla Is Like a Poet,” which celebrates with natural imagery and in a lyrical way the Filipino people’s revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy against foreign and feudal oppression and exploitation. The book contains poems from Sison’s Prison and Beyond, which won the Southeast Asia WRITE Award, as well as new poems that further develop the theme of struggle for national and social liberation as well as exile. It also carries articles of creative writers on the significance and relevance of his poetry. Sison is a Filipino revolutionary with extensive guerrilla experience and has been a recognized poet since his student days at the University of the Philippines. The publication of this book has been sparked by the effort of the Academy for Cultural Activism of the New World Summit to present the people’s culture in the national democratic struggle in the Philippines. Read more