Film poster
Directed by Brillante Mendoza
Produced by Didier Costet
Ferdinand Lapuz
Roselle Monteverde-Teo
Written by Armando Lao
Starring Coco Martin
John Regala
Maria Isabel Lopez
Julio Diaz
Jhong Hilario
Mercedes Cabral
Music by Teresa Barrozo
Cinematography Odyssey Flores
Edited by Kats Serraon
Release dates
  • 17 May 2009 (2009-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 23 September 2009 (2009-09-23) (Philippines)
Running time
105 minutes
Country Philippines
Language Tagalog

Kinatay (English: Butchered, The Execution of P)[2][3] is a 2009 Filipino independent drama film directed by Brillante Mendoza. The story is centered on a criminology student (played by Coco Martin) who accidentally joins a syndicate to make enough money for his family.

The film premiered at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Director Award,[1] the first Filipino film to do so.[3] The film was included in the 2009 Cinemalaya Film Festival.


In an ordinary day in a Manila neighborhood, 20-year-old police academy student Peping (Coco Martin) and his 19-year-old fiancee Cecille (Mercedes Cabral) prepare for their civil wedding. They travel to the town center, and pass by a scene of a man attempting suicide. Relatives and friends attend the wedding, and the two are married by a judge. A reception takes place in a restaurant.

The next day at his criminology class, Peping receives a text message from his friend Abyong (Jhong Hilario) who says they meet at Luneta Park later that night. Peping spontaneously accepts, travels to the park and waits there until night.

At the park, a male associate disguised as a balut vendor collects money from different people and hands it to Peping, who passes it to Abyong. Peping is informed by Abyong that their boss Kap (or Vic) (Julio Diaz) requires him that night for another operation. Peping reluctantly agrees and both enter a van parked nearby. Peping asks Abyong where they are headed, but Abyong offers little details. They stop at a red-light district, with Sarge (John Regala) entering a night club.

Inside, prostitute and fellow associate Madonna (or Gina) (Maria Isabel Lopez) requests her advance salary from the club manager and hands it to her aunt. Sarge informs Madonna that Kap wants to see her. As they ride the van, Madonna tells Kap about a certain Franco trying to evade her when she is suddenly assaulted by Sarge and Chico (Lauren Novero), who both restrain her with duct tape. The van exits Manila, and Kap calls another boss, who orders them to put down Madonna. Beaten, she becomes unconscious and the group thinks she is dead. They enter the North Luzon Expressway with the driver Rommel (Benjie Filomeno) paying the toll. A police car in pursuit is at the van's tail, but eventually overtakes them, arresting another driver. They exit the expressway and enter the outskirts of a rural town in Bulacan, finally stopping at an isolated house.

Madonna is transported to a bed in the basement, and is awakened when Sarge throws at her a bucket of water to see if she was still alive. Outside, Peping learns from Abyong that Madonna had a debt of P100,000 worth of drugs. He asks what they will do next, but is stopped short when Kap orders them and Rommel to buy food and liquor.

They ride the van, and Abyong tells Peping it is normal to be nervous at the first time. He hands over to him a gun, a gift from Kap and the "cure for nervousness". They stop at a local store near an open bus terminal and buy a case of liquor. Rommel tells Peping to buy balut from a vendor near the bus station. Peping does so, but lingers around the area for several minutes, eventually entering a bus bound to depart. He, however, receives a call from Abyong, so he makes an alibi and returns to the van.

Back at the house, Kap orders Peping to call for Sarge. Peping obeys and enters the basement room to find Sarge humiliating a stripped Madonna. Sarge leaves Madonna to Peping as he and the others have a drink outside. Peping sees a photo of Madonna's young son, and decides to approach her, possibly to help escape. However, Kap receives a call from the boss, who tells them it is time. They enter the room, with Sarge telling Peping to exit. Madonna pleads and apologizes to Kap, but he says "business is business". Kap gets out as Sarge begins to beat her, and Chico later performs on her forced sex. Outside, Kap sits with Peping and both have a conversation, as Madonna's cries are heard from the inside.

Later, Kap orders Peping to call for Sarge. Peping enters the room to see Chico performing sex with Madonna, and Abyong tells him to watch. Afterwards, Sarge commands the men to look for a sharp bolo knife. Chico finds one in the kitchen and heads to the room as Rommel and Abyong restrain her. Sarge gives the order to kill Madonna, who begs for her life. Chico stabs Madonna twice in the torso, killing her, then begins chopping off her leg. Peping watches helplessly in horror as the men dismember the other limbs. Sarge asks Abyong for a sack. Peping hands one to Abyong, who tells him to look for more. Sarge, annoyed about the blunt bolo knife, asks the men to find a sharp kitchen knife. Abyong finds a large one in the kitchen and hands it to Sarge, who uses it to sever the head. Sarge then takes off his bloody shirt, washes his hair and torso in the nearby bathroom, and changes to a white polo shirt. Abyong and Peping clean the room of blood and evidence, and carry the dismembered body parts to the van.

As morning draws near, the men depart with the van, indiscriminately tossing out the body parts out of the window. Chico rants about being hungry. Sarge offers him a dismembered arm in jest, then throws it out in the roadside, as Peping looks at the men in disgust. Upon reaching a bridge, they dispose of the torso down the river. They finally throw the head at a neighborhood's garbage dump. They reach a local eatery, and order food. Peping enters the eatery's bathroom and vomits, looking at himself in the mirror. He returns to his seat and Abyong tells him his food is getting cold, but Peping says he had lost his appetite. He asks Kap, seated beside him, if he can leave. Kap agrees, but reminds him that he will get used to it, and hands him over some money for his baby's milk.

A local news reporter is later shown interviewing residents about the dismembered head of a woman in a garbage dump. Peping rides a taxi bound for home and falls asleep, until a loud burst awakens him, which he thinks was his gun. The taxi driver rants about a flat tire. Peping exits the taxi and waits for another vehicle. The taxi driver eventually replaces the flat tire with a spare and calls for Peping, who reluctantly accepts. The final scene shows Cecille at home carrying her baby while cooking breakfast.


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives Kinatay a 71% fresh rating, based on seven reviews, and a rating average of 5.9 out of 10.[2] Film director Quentin Tarantino was a fan of the film and commended Mendoza in a personal letter, writing: "Your decission [sic] to never dramatize the murder, never indulge in movie suspense .... was bold, daring, and to me, the whole point of making the movie in the first place". On the other hand, film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times had been one of the film's most notable detractors, writing: "Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling The Brown Bunny the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival."[4]




  1. 1 2 3 "Festival de Cannes: Kinatay". Retrieved 9 May 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Kinatay (Butchered) (The Execution of P) (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  3. 1 2 Agoncillo, Jodee (28 May 2009). "Arroyo cites Kinatay director for winning Cannes 2009 award". GMA News. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. Ebert, Roger (May 16, 2009). "CANNES #4: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING OF?". Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  5. "Moon, Best Feature Film of Sitges 09". Sitges Film Festival. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  6. "'Kinatay' wins in Spain filmfest". ABS-CBN News. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  7. "33rd Gawad Urian winners". Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  8. Cornell, Catherine (30 April 2010). "Mendoza's 'Kinatay', 'Lola' win big in 33rd Gawad Urian". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  9. Jarloc, Glaiza (30 April 2010). "'Kinatay' bags awards in Gawad Urian". Sun.Star Manila. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  10. Jarloc, Glaiza (8 May 2010). "Winners in Golden Screen Awards bared". Sun.Star Manila. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  11. Llanes, Rommel R. (6 May 2010). "Indie films rule at the 7th Golden Screen Awards". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  12. Dimaculangan, Jocelyn (23 January 2010). "Winners of 8th Gawad Tanglaw revealed". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved 9 November 2014.

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