Watch Eskapo

"The Sergio Osmena-Geny Lopez Story"
  • TV-PG
  • 1995
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 6.9  (51)

Eskapo is a gripping and emotional film based on the true story of the Philippine military's escape from prison during the Martial Law era in the Philippines. Directed by Chito S. Rono, the film stars Christopher De Leon, Richard Gomez, Dina Bonnevie, and the late Jomari Yllana. Set in the early 1980s, the film takes us back to a time when the Philippines was under the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. Political opposition was met with brutal force, and many innocent Filipinos were arrested and imprisoned without trial. Eskapo focuses on the story of six detainees who managed to escape from a maximum-security prison on the island of Palawan. The men were charged with various crimes, from rebellion to sedition and murder, but they were all united in their desire to fight against the tyranny of the Marcos regime.

The main characters are played by De Leon (as Col. Aurelio Baladad), Gomez (as Sgt. Juan Escalante), Bonnevie (as Rosario Baladad), and Yllana (as Cpl. Rogelio Moreno). The film begins with the scene of the men being transferred to a new prison in Palawan. We learn about their backstories and the reasons for their arrest through a series of flashbacks. Along the way, we also see the emotional toll their imprisonment takes on their loved ones, particularly Baladad's wife and daughter.

The film's tension builds up as the prisoners start to plan their escape. They are aided by local sympathizers, including Baladad's brother-in-law and a priest. The plan involves digging a tunnel from their cell to an abandoned toilet outside the prison walls. The escape itself is a nail-biting sequence that is expertly directed by Rono. The men face many obstacles, from locked doors to armed guards, but their determination and courage give them the strength to continue.

Once outside the prison walls, the escapees face the daunting task of getting to safety. They are hunted by the military, who are determined to capture them and bring them back to prison. The group splits up, and each member goes on a perilous journey to evade capture. The film builds up to a heart-stopping climax, as the remaining escapees make their way to a boat that will take them to freedom.

Eskapo is a well-crafted film that balances action, drama, and emotion. The performances by the cast are excellent, particularly De Leon and Gomez, who bring depth and complexity to their roles. Bonnevie, who plays Baladad's wife, is also excellent in a difficult role that requires her to show both strength and vulnerability. Yllana, who tragically passed away in 2017, is memorable as the young soldier who becomes a key player in the escape plan.

The film is also notable for its depiction of the repression and brutality of the Marcos regime. We see how the detainees were tortured and forced to confess to crimes they didn't commit. We also see the impact of their imprisonment on their families and loved ones, who were left to suffer in silence. Eskapo is a powerful reminder of the importance of human rights and the need to fight against tyranny and oppression.

Overall, Eskapo is an excellent film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Philippine history and politics, as well as those who appreciate great filmmaking. The film's themes of courage, determination, and hope are as relevant today as they were when the events depicted in the film took place.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (51)