B. Escalante, P. Amador, P. Pascual, S. Magdayao (Actors), L. Diaz (Director, Screenwriter, Editor, Music, Executive Producer), B. Balbuena, B. Liew (Producers, Executive Producers), H. Orencio (Actress, Assistant Director), B. Guingona, J. Saracho (Actors)
Moderation: Vincenzo BugnoPress Conference at full length
In the late 1970s, a military-controlled militia is oppressing a remote village in the Philippine jungle. The uniformed men armed with machine guns are responsible for spreading a terror that is both physical and psychological in nature. They create an atmosphere in which neighbours become enemies and seek to eradicate the villagers’ faith in legends and spirits. Fearless young doctor Lorena opens a clinic for the poor, but disappears without a trace shortly afterwards. Her husband, the poet, activist and teacher Hugo Haniway, wants to find out the truth of his wife’s whereabouts. When he arrives, he is confronted with a community shattered by despotism and violence.
Lav Diaz describes his film as a Philippine rock opera. Penned by the director himself, the lyrics of the film’s songs pick up on the gloomy mood during the Marcos dictatorship and, lamenting the conditions, describe tremendous suffering, the monstrousness of which cannot be captured in images. The film’s story and characters are based on true events and real individuals. The resulting idiosyncratic mixture of music film and historical drama reaffirms Lav Diaz’s reputation as a chronicler of his country’s traumas.
234 min · Black/White
Piolo Pascual (Hugo Haniway)Shaina Magdayao (Lorena)Pinky Amador (Aling Sinta / Kwago)Bituin Escalante (Kwentista)Hazel Orencio (Teniente)Joel Saracho (Ahas)Bart Guingona (Paham)Angel Aquino (Angelita)Lilit Reyes (Militia 1)Don Melvin Boongaling (Militia 2)Noel Sto. Domingo (Chairman Narciso)Ian Lomongo (Ian)
Born in Cotabato, the Philippines in 1958, he first studied business before transferring to the Mowelfund Film Institute in Manila. His second feature film Naked Under the Moon screened in the 2000 Berlinale Forum. His five-and-a-half-hour opus From What is Before won the Golden Leopard at the 2014 Locarno International Film Festival. In 2016 A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, which he identifies as his most important film to date, screened in the Berlinale Competition and won the Alfred Bauer Prize.Filmography
1998 Kriminal ng Barrio Concepcion (Criminal of Barrio Concepcion) 1999 Burger Boys · Hubad sa ilalim ng buwan (Naked Under the Moon) 2002 Batang West Side (West Side Kid) · Hesus Rebolusyunaryo (Jesus, Revolutionary) 2004 Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Evolution of a Filipino Family) 2006 Heremias, Unang Aklat: Ang Alamat ng Prinsesang Bayawak (Heremias, Book One: The Legend of the Lizard Princess) 2007 Kagadanan Sa Banwaan Ning Mga Engkanto (Death in the Land of Encantos) 2008 Melancholia 2011 Babae ng Hangin (Woman of the Wind) · Century of Birthing 2012 Florentina Hubaldo 2013 Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, The End of History) 2014 Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What is Before) 2016 Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) · Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) 2018 Ang Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil)
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018