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Director  Mike De Leon
Music director  Lorrie Ilustre
Country  Philippines
7.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Language  Tagalog
Kisapmata movie poster

Release date  1981
Based on  The House in Zapote Street by Nick Joaquin
Writer  Clodualdo Del Mundo Jr. (screenplay), Raquel Villavicencio (screenplay), Mike De Leon (screenplay), Nick Joaquin (essay "The House on Zapote St.")
Initial release  December 25, 1981 (Philippines)
Screenplay  Mike De Leon, Clodualdo del Mundo Jr., Raquel Villavicencio
Cast  Charo Santos-Concio, Jay Ilagan, Vic Silayan, Charito Solis, Ruben Rustia, Juan Rodrigo
Similar movies  Angela Markado, Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, Sexual Chronicles of a French Family, The Bourne Legacy, Angela, the Marked One, Pasan Ko Ang Daigdig
Tagline  Life changes...

Kisapmata (lit.‚ÄČIn the Wink of an Eye) is a 1981 psychological horror film directed by Mike De Leon, written for the screen by De Leon and Clodualdo del Mundo Jr., It was inspired by Nick Joaquin's 1961 article "The House on Zapote Street", which was later republished in Joaquin's non-fiction book, Reportage on Crime (1968).


It was a groundbreaking film, as it was the first major treatment of incest in Philippine cinema. Released during the 7th Metro Manila Film Festival, the film barely broke even at the box office. However, it received unanimous critical acclaim, establishing De Leon as one of the great directors of the new generation. It eventually won the festival's most coveted title of "Best Film", garnered ten major awards in FAMAS, was presented in Cannes in the Director's Fortnight, and was adjudged by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino as one of the 10 Best Films of the 1980s.

The film covers other strong subject matters, such as murder, suicide and parricide.


Dadong Carandang (Silayan), a retired police officer, is the domineering father of Mila (Santos), and he is extremely jealous of the latter's suitors, never allowing them into his house. One day, Mila falls in love with Noel Manalansan (Ilagan) and they decide to seek Dadong's permission to get married. Mila finds out she is pregnant. Dadong agrees on the condition that Noel pay a ridiculously costly dowry as well as shoulder a luxurious wedding. Noel agrees and works hard to meet Dadong's demands Bonoy Carandang (Gonzaga) a dream of father.

After the wedding, Dadong insists that the couple stay in his house. Despite protestations by the couple, they acquiesce. The couple is not allowed to sleep together for various reasons, i.e., that Mila's mother Dely (Solis) is sick and Mila needs to comfort her through the night.

After several months of living in this misery, the couple decide to escape. They were hunted by Dadong, to no avail. One day Dadong changes his tactic and makes some compromises to bring them back. Eventually, the couple decide to go back to Dadong's house, but only to gather their belongings. Dadong pleads with Mila not to leave as it is revealed that he has been carrying out an incestuous relationship with his daughter all along, and the baby is his. When Mila and Noel stand firm on leaving, Dadong is driven to desperation and brings out his gun, shooting Dely, Noel, and then finally, Mila. Seeing to no longer consume himself in such obsession, he shoots himself.


  • Vic Silayan as Dadong Carandang
  • Charo Santos as Mila Carandang
  • Jay Ilagan as Noel Manalansan
  • Charito Solis as Adelina Carandang
  • Ruben Rustia as Peping Manalasan
  • Karl Robert Angeles as KRA
  • Carlito Gonzaga as Bonoy Carandang
  • Aida Carmona as Onyang
  • Juan Rodrigo as Ernie
  • Cora Alforja as Cynthia
  • Dindo Angeles as Mario
  • Ray Villania as Eddie
  • Edwin O'Hara as Pulis 1
  • Mandy Bustamante as Pulis 2
  • Crisanta Cruz as Pinty Manalansan
  • Mely Mallari as Diomy
  • Monette Alfon as Landlady
  • Teresita R. Sanchez as Dra. Trinidad
  • Accolades

    It won a total of 8 Gawan Urian Awards and received 1 FAMAS award nomination.


    Kisapmata Wikipedia
    Kisapmata IMDb Kisapmata