11/17/2018 17:30 – Murnau-Filmtheater

Philippines 1982 125 min original version with German and English subtitles

by Ishmael Bernal

Script: Ricardo Lee, DoP: Sergio Lobo, Editor: Ike Jarlego Jr., Production: Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, Producer: Charo Santos-Concio, Cast: Nora Aunor, Spanky Manikan, Veronica Palileo

The film is set in a provincial town, beset by poverty, disease, and harsh climate. One of its residents claims to have seen the Blessed Virgin Mary on a barren hill at the town’s outskirts. Soon she is associated with healing the sick. The news goes nationwide. Within no time mass media personal roams the town. Good publicity also brings good business. But a sudden change to disaster is looming.

If there was ever a film about the evils of blind faith, it is MIRACLE. Among films involving religion, it is unique in its brave stand against it. All the more remarkable coming from a country more rigid in its Catholicism than the Vatican. MIRACLE is arguably one of the best Filipino films ever made, and it made superstar Nora Aunor, icon of Philippine cinema, an actress of legendary proportions.

Multi-awarded Ishmael Bernal (1938–1996) was a filmmaker of the first order. He was a fierce anti-Marcos activist and a strong supporter of the Communist Party of the Philippines. His art extends beyond the confines of aesthetics. He managed to send his message across: to fight the censors, free the artists, give justice to the oppressed, and enlighten as well as entertain the audience. Noted for melodramas dealing with feminist and moral issues and many landmark Filipino films such as NUNAL SA TUBIG (1975) and MANILA BY NIGHT (1980), he was chosen by the Philippine Film Critics Association as the “Most Outstanding Filmmaker of the Decade 1971–1980”. Among the ten best films chosen by the critics, five were his. In 2001, he was declared a National Artist for Film of the Philippines.

ABS-CBN Film Archive
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