11/25/2018 12:00 – Caligari FilmBühne

Philippines 2018 234 min original version with German and English subtitles

by Lav Diaz

Script: Lav Diaz, DoP: Larry Manda, Editor: Lav Diaz, Production: Globe Studios, Epicmedia Productions, Producers: Bianca Balbuena, Bradley Liew, Cast: Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao, Pinky Amador, Joel Saracho

Lav Diaz’s new film is a Filipino rock opera. The narrative and characters are a composite of real events and people from the period, the darkest period of Philippine history: the Marcos dictatorship. A military-controlled militia gang terrorizes a remote village and destroys the community. Corporal and intensely psychological terror is inflicted. A few souls fight, though, refusing to give up.

Multi-award-winning director Diaz’s definitions of both “rock” and “opera” are as idiosyncratic as everything else about his super-sized filmmaking. Its mood, aesthetic and historical outlook all place it unmistakably in Diaz’s creative universe. All of its historically grounded events can be read as an allegory on the possible future of the country and the development of a new murderous regime.

Lav Diaz was born in the province of Maguindanao, Mindanao, grown up in the midst of the gruesome civil war between Christians and Muslims. Already for close to two decades he is the most prominent and internationally most honored voice of Philippine cinema. His cinematic self-reinvention with BATANG WEST SIDE (2001) was the redefinition of standards in „slow cinema“. He is notorious and venerated for his temporal unbound philosophical statements in „real time“ filmmaking, sometimes stretching to more than ten hours like the stunning EVOLUTION OF A FILIPINO FAMILY (2004) which catapulted him into arthouse stardome. With his aesthetically rigorous cinema without compromises and his unflinching look at the socio-political past and present of the Philippines he defines a league of his own.

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