The restored version of the classic 1976 film “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” will have a one-time free screening tonight, Tuesday, May 25. The more-than-two-hour film starring Nora Aunor, Christopher de Leon and Bembol Roco, will be streamed at 7:30 PM over the ABSCBN Film Restoration Facebook page.
Under the direction of Mario O’ Hara (who is also the writer), “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” is considered one of the finest films Philippine cinema ever produced. Set during the Japanese Occupation, it tells the story of Rosario, a barrio school teacher (Aunor) whose beloved, Crispin (Roco), is taken away from her by the war, enlisted as he was to fight the Japanese army as a guerilla.
Rosario then encounters a Japanese-Filipino soldier named Masugi (De Leon) who rapes her but later on does right by her, seeking her forgiveness and offering her struggling family food and assistance. Despite her efforts to continue treating Masugi with contempt, she finds out she’s pregnant by him and she eventually falls for the half-breed soldier, agreeing to marry him in the end—a decision for which she will be made to pay.
Aunor won two Best Actress awards for her stunning performance in the movie. She also sat as the film’s executive producer (the NV in NV Productions stands for Nora Villamayor, the superstar’s real name) along with de Leon, then her husband. The film also won Best Director and Best Picture at the FAMAS, and Best Cinematography at the Urian Awards in 1977. The movie was shot in Majayjay, Laguna where the townsfolk were famously enlisted to become extras. It also features a rare screen performance from a young Peque Gallaga who plays Francis, the Spanish mestizo who works for the Japanese government, a close friend of Masugi.
The film was restored in 2016 by L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy. One of the most difficult restoration projects of the ABSCBN Film Restoration division, the restoration of “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” took 1,450 hours to complete.