Once a Moth

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This Partner Label release is distributed through Vinegar Syndrome's sister company OCN Distribution. Vinegar Syndrome had no part in, nor are responsible for, the restoration, extras, quality control or any content(s) of this release. We hope you enjoy our growing roster of Partner Labels and the expertise and curation brought to each release by their dedicated staff!


This special limited edition slipcover (designed by Luigi Almuena) is limited to 1,000 units and is only available on our website and at select indie retailers. Absolutely no major retailers will be stocking them.

Named after Yasujiro Ozu’s custom-made, tatami-level, crab-like tripod, Kani is a new home video label dedicated to leveling the gaze and furthering the understanding of Asian cinema in North America. Focused on genre-defying films, Kani aims to expand the canon, bolster up-and-coming filmmakers and reintroduce repertory classics in context. Vinegar Syndrome’s sister company, OCN Distribution, is thrilled to be representing this diverse and unique home video line!

Nora Aunor stars, in what is often deemed her finest performance, as Corazon de la Cruz, a Filipina nurse. Living near the US Clark Air Base on Luzon Island, she dreams of a better life in the United States… until the unspeakable happens.

Directed by Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, Once A Moth is a long-lost, rarely-seen landmark of Filipino cinema, here miraculously salvaged and restored despite weather-worn elements and a missing first reel. A timeless, galvanising, anti-imperialist classic conceived as a protest film against the unending occupation of the Philippines by foreign powers, it gives their wings back to those attracted and irrevocably burned by the flame of the American Dream.

directed by: Lupita Aquino-Kashiwabara (Credited as Lupita A. Concio)
starring: Nora Aunor, Jay Illagan, Gloria Sevilla, Perla Bautista, Eddie Villamayor
1976 / 110 min / 1.85:1 / Tagalog DTS-HD MA 2.0

Additional info:

  • Region A Blu-ray
  • 2K restoration by ABS-CBN
  • Featurette on the restoration (9mins, 2023)
  • Before and After (1min, 2018)
  • Restoration Trailer
  • Booklet with
  • Archival Photographs courtesy of the Mowelfund Library and Audiovisual Archives
  • New writing by scholars Jose B. Capino and John Labella
  • Interview with Digna Santiago
  • Interview with Marina Feleo Gonzalez by critic Aaron Hunt
  • New art by Luigi Almuena
  • Optional English Subtitles