The episodically connected lives of four college friends unfold throughout the incipient martial law years, as they struggle to define their sexual and professional desires and how best to attain them. An observational drama that does not shy away from topics such as abortion, prostitution, patriarchy, homosexuality, military violence and the repressive social conditioning of collective imaginaries, this understated feminist inquiry into the possibilities of sustaining queer kinships stands out as a singular achievement of woman-centred Philippine cinema. — Letitia Calin

A promiscuous junkie who falls in love with an activist. An ambitious but mediocre singer. A lawyer still in love with her gay ex-husband. A housewife whose husband treats her as nothing more than a baby factory. Moral follows the fractious lives of these four desperate women in what has not only become one of the watershed films but perhaps one of the first thoroughly feminist statements of Philippine Cinema’s so called Second Golden Age and one that remains resonant to this day.

Moral is the second film in a ‘trilogy’ directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, between Brutal (1981) and Of the Flesh (Karnal, 1983), which established her as the foremost female director in the Philippines. She brought a new vision on the difficult condition of women in Filipino society over the years. — Far East Film Festival, Udine

Marilou Diaz-Abaya

Marilou Diaz-Abaya (1955–2012) was one of the most popular and acclaimed directors in Philippine cinema history. She was a four-time winner of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Best Director Award, and in 2019 posthumously received the FAMAS Lifetime Achievement Award. Diaz-Abaya studied at Loyola Marymount University and the London International Film School before directing her debut feature Chains in 1980. Diaz-Abaya and Lino Brocka were credited with bringing Philippines Cinema to international audiences in the 1980s. She often collaborated with her husband Manolo Abaya who regularly served as director of photography and editor on her films.

Filmography

Reefs of Paradise: A Divine Gallery (2012), You are Love (2011), Maging akin muli (2005), Then and Now (2003), New Moon (2001), Reef Hunters (1999), José Rizal (1998), In the Naval of the Sea (1998), Milagros (1997), Madonna and Child (1996), Redeem Her Honor (1995), Ika-11 utos: Mahalin mo, asawa mo (1994), Kung ako'y iiwan mo (1993), Sensual (1986), Alias: Baby Tsina (1984), Of the Flesh (1983), Let's Embrace the Past Once Again (1983), Moral (1982), Boystown (1981), Macho Gigolo (1981), Brutal (1980), Chains (1980)