Director: Lav Diaz
Cast: Perry Dizon, Hazel Orencio, Roeder Camanag, Angelina Kanapi
In Filipino, with English subtitles
In a span of two or three years before the declaration of Martial Law, the people of a remote village in the Philippines experience and witness 'unnatural circumstances' that will threaten to shake their preserved traditions and sense of community. Such events include, among others, cattle hacked to death by an unknown 'butcher', an old man found dead with a 'bite' mark on his neck, the wailing in the forest, and an intruder who sells blankets and mosquito nets. All the characters that populate the village are all so interesting that it'll be easy to care about them. Each character has a story that, when explored, is worthy of a separate and equally interesting movie. But putting them all together in this movie by way of the director's almost unique style (i.e., long takes, long shots, and immersing the viewer in every scene) is a resounding achievement. The stunningly beautiful cinematography and the non-use of musical score will keep the viewer glued to the screen, not minding the five and a half hours of the movie's running time.
I am now an official Lav Diaz fan.
I saw this movie at the full-packed Center Stage Theater, Mall of Asia on September 21, 2104.
Date seen: September 21, 2014