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LIST: 10 martial law films you can watch online this September 2022

By Leanne Baldelovar Published Sep 13, 2022 1:11 pm

The late president Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines on September 21, 1972 and formally announced it on national television on September 23, 1972.

In the aftermath brought about by the authoritarian rule for 14 years, local and foreign filmmakers have produced films to #NeverForget the dark chapter of Philippine history. 

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of martial law this September, here are just 10 films focusing on the Marcos regime that you can watch online this September 2022.


This true-to-life independent film revolves around the story of a rebel and anti-Marcos young mother who was captured, trying to protect her child and escape from the realities inside their prison camp in the early 80s. The young boy in the story was Kip Oebenda, the film's director himself.  

Dekada ‘70 

The 2002 film Dekada '70 by Lualhati Bautista is a tale of a middle-class Filipino family's life and status that has been thrown into disarray during Ferdinand Marcos' dictatorship. As her children battle the dictatorship's oppressive forces, Amanda Bartolome, a mother, and activist realize that their personal lives are political. You may search Dekada ‘70 at this link and watch on iWantTFC.  

Bakit Dilaw ang Gitna ng Bahaghari? 

Directed by National Artist for Film, Kidlat Tahimik, Bakit Dilaw ang Gitna ng Bahaghari? allows its audience to witness an unusual lengthy “cinematic essay” film on American neocolonialism in the Philippines for a decade. The film is a collage of footage of the personal life of Tahimik while unfolding the minutiae of his family and his political reflections.  

Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon 

A film by Lav Diaz that won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014 will be screening from Sept. 15 to Sept. 21 on Sine Olivia Pilipinas’ YouTube account. The film follows a remote town in the Philippines during the 1970s under the Marcos dictatorship.

Set in 1972, this five-and-a-half-hour film follows the mysterious things happening in a remote barrio with many tales of suffering, such as people wailing and bleeding and houses burning. The film will be available to watch from Sept. 15 - 21, 2022 here.

Ang Mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasiya 

Red grows up as a typical boy in a middle-class family during the terrifying Marcos regime in the Philippines. He becomes entangled in the conflicts brought on by his mother's unwavering morals and his father's apolitical instinct. He eventually changed into a person who, before seeing the broken promises of Bagong Lipunan, he had no idea he would become. Watch the full short film below.


This gripping, true-to-life movie tells the tale of two strangers who band together to survive the physical and mental torture they endure. Following false accusations that they were involved in a plot to assassinate the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, they make an attempt to break out of the Marcos Martial Law prison. Geny Lopez and Serge Osmeña's parents donate their entire possessions, but the government still won't release them. You may search Eskapo at this link and watch on iWantTFC.  


Mike de Leon’s 1983 8mm film Signos showcases the interviews and stories told by strong and prominent personalities during the dictatorial rule to oust to depose the loathed Marcos government. Some of them include former senator Jose W. Diokno, director Lino Brocka, journalists Ceres Doyo, Joe Burgos, and Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, nuns Sister Christine Tan and Sister Mariani Dimaranan, and more.  

SIGNOS (1983) Color/38 minutes. English Subtitles from Citizen Jake on Vimeo.

Marcos: A Malignant Spirit  

Marcos: A Malignant Spirit is a 1986 film directed by Rolly Reyes and narrated by ABS-CBN's Angelo Castro, Jr. It examines "the inhuman manner in which Marcos and his henchmen systematically drained the economy in their greedy and unrelenting quest for fortune," its synopsis reads, according to ABS-CBN. It contains archival footage and recorded conversations. 


This award-winning 2003 film by Ramona S. Diaz follows the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos beginning with her childhood, marriage to Ferdinand Marcos, then following her rule under the dictatorship. The interviews and archives of the Marcoses and the statements of witnesses and journalists describing the atrocities they experienced set up the film. 

Batas Militar 

Batas Militar is a 1997 documentary film highlighting human rights violations during martial law in the Philippines. It details how the late president Ferdinand Marcos maneuvered his proclamation leading up to the overthrow of the Marcos regime. The documentary includes interviews with key personalities involved in the conflict, as well as archival news footage, and some dramatization of historical events.