Weighed But Found Wanting

Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang
(Weighed But Found Wanting)
Directed by Lino Brocka
Produced by Mario O'Hara
Written by Lino Brocka
Mario O'Hara
Starring Lolita Rodriguez
Christopher De Leon
Mario O'Hara
Eddie Garcia
Lilia Dizon
Hilda Koronel
Music by Lutgardo Labad
Emmanuel Lacaba
Cinematography Jose Batac
Edited by Augusto Salvador
Distributed by CineManila Corporation
Release dates
  • 30 May 1974 (1974-05-30)
Running time
128 minutes
Country Philippines
Language Filipino

Weighed But Found Wanting (Filipino: Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang; also known as Human Imperfections [1]) is a 1974 Filipino drama film directed by Lino Brocka. The films stars Christopher De Leon (in his debut role),[2] Hilda Koronel, Lolita Rodriguez and Eddie Garcia. Considered one of Brocka's most important films,[3][4] it won six awards (including Best Picture) at the 23rd FAMAS Awards in 1975.


The story begins with a flashback to the past of a woman called Kuala (Lolita Rodriguez). An herbolario (traditional/folk medicine practitioner) performs an abortion on Kuala, as Cesar (Eddie Garcia) watches her. The abortion was a success, but when Kuala sees the aborted fetus, she becomes disturbed. In the next scene, she walks in the middle of a grassy plain, and as the heat becomes more and more unbearable, she becomes insane.

In the present, Kuala, now the village idiot, wanders about her Nueva Ecija town in dirty clothes and with mangy hair. The townsfolk mock and deride Kuala, and she is pushed into a watering hole where she almost drowns.

Bertong Ketong (Mario O'Hara), a leper yearning for female companionship, attracts Kuala with a rattle and takes her to his shack in the cemetery. Junior (Christopher de León) makes friends with them, defying the prohibitions of his father, Cesar Blanco, who is a lawyer and failed politician.

Junior asks Berto's advice concerning his problems with his eccentric teacher, Mr. Del Mundo (Orlando Nadres), who has a crush on him, and with his girlfriend, Evangeline (Hilda Koronel), who flirted with her escort during that year's Santacruzan. The jealous Junior left the procession and sought the company of Milagros (Laurice Guillen), who seduces him.

The local Asociación de las Damas Cristianas (Association of Christian Ladies) is later scandalised to discover that Kuala has fallen pregnant. She is forced to live in the custody of the pious Lola Jacoba (Rosa Aguirre). When Berto makes a clandestine visit to Kuala, she tells him of his unhappiness. Berto tells this to Junior, who resolves to help the pregnant Kuala make an escape from Lola Jacoba's house and lead her back to Berto's shack. However, Berto knows she will be taken away and returns her to Lola Jacoba, and promises to retrieve her after she has given birth.

Some nights later, Kuala experiences labour pains. She finds her way to Berto's shack, at which point Berto rushes out to fetch a doctor. When the doctor refuses to help him, Berto takes him hostage but repeats he will not kill him. As Berto flees with the doctor, the doctor's wife shouts for help, awakening the townspeople who rush to follow the fleeing pair. Before Berto and the doctor reach the shack, however, the doctor escapes and a chase ensues. A group of policemen come to the doctor's rescue and shoot Berto. Junior sees this and is shocked; he holds Berto's dead body and weeps in the midst of the crowd.

Junior then enters the shack where Kuala has successfully birthed a boy, but lies weakened by the labour. She becomes lucid, and in her sanity she recognises Junior and realizes that Berto has been killed. She also recognises Cesar amongst the crowd, and asks him why he killed their child, revealing his secret. Kuala then gives her baby to Junior, and dies. As Junior leaves the shack, he stares hard at the townspeople, including his parents, Evangeline, and all who were unkind to him, Berto and Kuala. He walks near Berto's corpse and stops by, as the people look on in silence. Junior leaves the cemetery with Berto and Kuala's son.



Villa Epifania

The movie was partly filmed in "The Grand Old House of Sta. Rita" (also the film site of "Tanging Yaman" and many other films).


Tinimbang, considered by Lino Brocka as his "first novel" and his first production for his own film outfit, is the story of a young boy growing up in a small town and the unusual friendship he develops with a leper and the village idiot. Their stories draw forth the true nature of hypocrisy in the small town and the boy bears witness and participates in the various emotions that throb under the seemingly quiet village life - prejudice, cruelty, forgiveness, and even love. In Tinimbang, Brocka clearly shows man's limitations as a mortal being, but sends a message of hope for the movie, and in the end, speaks ultimately of rebirth and maturity.


The film won six FAMAS Awards out of eight nominations:

It was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Mario O'Hara) and Best Supporting Actress (Laurice Guillen).[5]


  1. Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong, Film Festivals: Culture, People, and Power on the Global Screen (Rutgers University Press, 2011), ISBN 978-0813551104, p.204. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  2. Ricky Calderon, "Christopher de Leon to receive Gawad Lino Brocka Lifetime Achievement Award at 5th Golden Screen Awards", June 20, 2008.
  3. Vladmir Bunoan, "Essential O'Hara: 10 films you should watch", ABS-CBN, June 26, 2012.
  4. Noel Vera, "Lino Brocka: The Heart of Philippine Cinema", Center for Asian American Media, March 7, 2010.
  5. "Tinimbang ka kahit kulang (1974) - Awards". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
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