Oro, Plata, Mata is a 1982 multi-awarded Filipino film directed by Peque Gallaga, and is considered his most significant contribution to Philippine cinema. Set in the Philippine province of Negros during World War II, it tells the story of how two haciendero families cope with the changes brought about by the war. In translation, the movie is also known either as “Gold, Silver, Bad Luck” or “Gold, Silver, Death.”
The title refers to an old Filipino architectural superstition saying that design elements in a house (particularly staircases) should not end in a multiple of three, in keeping with a pattern of oro (gold), plata (silver), and mata (bad luck). The film is structured in three parts that depict this pattern played out in the lives of the main characters, from a life of luxury and comfort in the city (“oro/gold” ), to a still-luxurious time of refuge in a provincial hacienda (“plata/silver” ), and finally to a retreat deeper into the mountains, where they are victimized by bandit guerillas (“mata/bad luck” ).
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