Filmography: Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993)

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“Hindi ako naniniwala…Putang…anong karapatan mong sabihin sa akin yan?! Diyos ka ba?! Ikaw ba na nagbigay ng buhay sa akin?! Sino ka ba?…Akala mo alam n’yo nang lahat ayoko nito! Akala mo alam n’yong lahat hah..Ayoko nito…ayoko nito..ayoko pang mamatay!…anong mangyayari sa mga anak ko…mga putang ina n’yo…ayoko nito!” – Dolzura Cortez

Basic Information: Directed: Laurice Guillen; Story: Dolzura Cortez; Screenplay: Ricardo Lee; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher De Leon, Charito Solis, Jackie Aquino, Christine Bersola, Noni Buencamino, Maila Gumila, Mia Gutierrez, Gigette Reyes, Gilleth Sandico, Eula Valdez, Mikee Villanueva, Nonie Buecamino, Jaime Blanch, John Caddi, Tess Dumpit, Chris Michelena, Sharme Centenera, Ernie Zarate, Pocholo Montes, Gil Portes; Executive producer: Orly Ilacad; Original Music: Nonong Buencamino; Cinematography: Eduardo Jacinto; Film Editing: Efren Jarlego; Production Design: Edgar Martin Littaua; Sound: Monching Reyes; Theme Songs: “Dahil Mahal Kita” sung by Ogie Alcasid

Plot Description: Based on Ma. Ceres P. Doyo’s award-winning series in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, this film chronicles the life of Dolzura Cortez, the first Filipina to bravely come out in public and admit she was afflicted with AIDS; thus finally giving a face to an AIDS patient. – Philippine Movies Data base, Geocities web site

This Philippine drama chronicles the colorful life of Dolzura Cortez, the first publicly recognized AIDS patient in the Philippines. The film begins with a brief examination of Cortez’s pre-AIDS life. Initially she lived in a small village with her cruel husband and three kids. The spunky woman leaves them and moves to the big city where she engages in several affairs. Her second marriage to a rich foreigner does not last long. To support her children, Dolly begins an all woman “contract worker” agency. This also serves to facilitate her love of night-life. Tragedy comes to Dolzura after she collapses on a dance floor one night and learns that she has full-blown AIDS. At a Manila hospital she meets ex-lover Paulo, an AIDS researcher who encourages to tell her story publicly. The courageous woman does and she becomes instrumental in spreading AIDS awareness to the islands. - Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide, The New York Times web site

Ma. Dolzura Cortez (d. 1992) is the first Filipino AIDS victim who came out in the open to tell about her life and how she acquired the AIDS virus. Her life story was made into the 1993 Filipino film Dahil Mahal Kita (English “Because I Love You: The Dolzura Cortez Story”), directed by Laurice Guillen and starring Vilma Santos as Cortez. – Wikepedia web-site

“…Life story of the Philippine’s first publicly acknowledged AIDS patient, a woman who leaves her husband in her home village for the big city. Here she indulges in love-affairs that end her second marriage with a wealthy foreigner…” – British Film Institute (READ MORE)

Film Achievements: 1993 Film Academy of the Philippines Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1993 URIAN Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1993 URIAN Best Music – Nonong Buencamino; 1993 STAR Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1993 Manila Film Festival Best Actres – Vilma Santos; 1993 Movie Magazine Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1993 Intrigue Magazine Reader’s Choice Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1993 New Fame Magazine Reader’s Choice Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1993 FAMAS Circle of Excellence -Vilma Santos; 1993 URIAN Best Director nomination – Laurice Guillen; 1993 URIAN Best Picture nomination – Octo Arts; Special screening – the 1994 San Francisco Asian-American International Film Festival; Special screening – the 1994 Amsterdam Film Festival.

Film Reviews: “…If eroticism and sadomasochistic reverberations were ignited in Midnight Passion, Guillen’s The Dolzura Cortez Story (Dahil Mahal Kita, 1993) broke new ground in another direction. It was not only one of the first films to tackle AIDS as a reality by giving it a real human face, but also a rare revelation for its protagonist’s confession that the absence of sexual intimacy as a diseased outsider created a profound ache. This connection of alienation to desire startlingly brings out the humane aspects of the AIDS tragedy. Like her other films, Dolzura Cortez was a strong woman who never allowed herself to be viewed as a victim…” – Vinita Ramani, Big O Magazine (READ MORE)

This Philippine drama chronicles the colorful life of Dolzura Cortez, the first publicly recognized AIDS patient in the Philippines. The film begins with a brief examination of Cortez’s pre-AIDS life. Initially she lived in a small village with her cruel husband and three kids. The spunky woman leaves them and moves to the big city where she engages in several affairs. Her second marriage to a rich foreigner does not last long. To support her children, Dolly begins an all woman “contract worker” agency. This also serves to facilitate her love of night-life. Tragedy comes to Dolzura after she collapses on a dance floor one night and learns that she has full-blown AIDS. At a Manila hospital she meets ex-lover Paulo, an AIDS researcher who encourages to tell her story publicly. The courageous woman does and she becomes instrumental in spreading AIDS awareness to the islands. It was the first movie on AIDS in the Philippines that provided ‘a name and a face’ among the 50 recorded lives that were lost to AIDS in 1992. This movie was utilized as a focus of discussion by some health care personnel to express their thoughts, opinions and recommendations regarding the use of cinema as a powerful tool for AIDS information dissemination. - You and Aids web-site

The “Dolzura Cortez Story” was the Philippines’ first movie on AIDS that provided ‘a name and a face’ among the 50 recorded lives that were lost to AIDS in 1992. This movie was utilized as a focus of discussion by some health care personnel to express their thoughts, opinions and recommendations regarding the use of cinema as a powerful tool for AIDS information dissemination. Responding to a newspaper advertisement looking for a person with AIDS, Ms. Dolzura Cortez agreed to have her life story serialized in print and later developed into a movie. The “Dolzura Cortez Story” was subsequently produced as the Philippines’ first movie on AIDS which documented the real experiences of a person living with AIDS in the country. The author reports findings from a study conducted to determine the social impact of the movie as perceived by some health care personnel. Specifically, it aimed to identify the messages that health care providers derived from watching the movie and to make recommendations on how this and subsequent films could serve as an effective tool for AIDS education. 134 health care personnel representing 13 regional hospitals from all over the country watched the film, then answered a questionnaire.

The sample was of mean age 35.6 years, 84.3% female, and with mean experience of 10.1 years. 20.1% were doctors, 21.6% nurses, 32.4% social workers, and 25.4% other health personnel. 22.9% had direct experience caring for persons with AIDS and 32.8% knew someone with AIDS. Although these participants perceived some simple and subtle messages from the movie, they also noted its shortcomings. The movie lacked realism; overemphasized the dangers of having multiple sex partners at the expense of warning about other risk factors for HIV transmission; the counsellor pressured the patient and failed to provide enough information on infection control; the psychosocial, economic, and spiritual concerns of people with AIDS were not addressed; and there were some misinterpretations and twisted truths about AIDS facts and the story itself. The respondents suggested that health care providers and people directly involved in AIDS education and counseling be involved in the production of such movies. Moreover, documentary pictures and testimonial footage of the woman would have added realism, while additional basic information about AIDS could have been mentioned in either the movie or a trailer. - NCBI web site

‘Dolzura Cortez Story’ is an artistic and brilliant film from Manila’s finest director. The movie’s leading actress, Ms. Santos, played her part so powerfully, and is very convincing as Dolzura, the first Filipino HIV/AIDS patient to come- out to the public. The movie is a thought- provoking film, ready to challenge the Filipino idea of what is right and what is wrong. – “A thought- provoking, honest film from Philippine’s finest director” by Jonard, IBDB web site, March 11, 2000

“…The 1990s saw Charito Solis graduate to mother and grandmother roles, which she had done with frequency in the 1980s. In another nod to her age, she finally allowed herself to be billed above Vilma Santos, then acknowledged as the Longest-Reigning Box Office Queen of Philippine Movies, albeit above-the-title in films such as Ipagpatawad Mo (1992) and Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993)…” – Gypsy Baldovino and Yolly Tiangco (READ MORE)

Defining Moments – “…Other scoops are spectacular in terms of their instant impact or how they led to defining moments in Philippine history. An example of a high-impact scoop was the Dolzura Cortez story by Ceres Doyo in 1992. On the other hand, a February 2001 story on the last days of the Estrada administration, as reported by then Executive Secretary Edgardo Angara, was an example of a scoop that changed the course of our history. Cortez was the first Filipino with full-blown Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to come out and tell her story. Past interviews with Filipinos afflicted with AIDS had been on condition that no names were mentioned and no photographs were taken. Cortez not only allowed the publication of her name but also her photograph. She also gave the Inquirer a photograph of herself before she got AIDS. Her before-and-after-AIDS pictures were revealing?they showed the readers how ravaging the disease could be. Cortez’s story serialized from Aug. 31 to Sept, 3, 1992, gave AIDS a “name and face.” It got tremendous response from readers and helped raise awareness of the disease. Doyo also won a number of awards and a full-length movie was produced on Cortez’s life….” – Lawrence de Guzman, Minerva Generalao, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 29 Nov 2010 (READ MORE)

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