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A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery

Lav Diaz
Hele sa hiwagang hapis
Philippines, Singapore 2016 / 485’

Lav Diaz, whose films include Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (12th New Horizons) and Norte, the End of History (13th New Horizons), is back with a new film. No stranger to festival audiences, the Filipino director again explores the history of his homeland, where a revolution broke out in the late 19th century to stomp out three hundred years of Spanish rule, but failed due to infighting. The complex narrative tells the story of the the period’s most important figures, as well as of ordinary people who became victims of the cruel conflict. Diaz interweaves fiction and reality, with one narrative strand involving a search for Andrés Bonifacio, the father of the Philippine Revolution, by his wife, Gregoria de Jesús, and another describing the adventures of the heroes of a novel written during the revolution, Isagani, Basilio, and Simoun. The events are interrupted by songs that, in addition to love, deal with sorrow, pain, anger and sadness. They also speak of the darkest recesses of the human soul, which Diaz also reveals through his characters.

Sławomir Wasiński


Berlin IFF 2016 - Alfred Bauer Award

Lav Diaz

His real name is Lavrente Indico Diaz. He was born in the Philippines in 1958 and studied at the Mowelfund Film Institute. He has gained his status as a film auteur thanks to his unique style, as well as the fact that, in addition to directing, he is also involved in screenwriting, production, cinematography, and music. In addition, he acts and writes poetry. Having received awards at festivals all over the world, he is known for making multiple-hour films composed of long, static shots.

Selected filmography

2008 Melancholia

2011 Siglo ng Pagluluwal / Century of Birthing

2012 Florentina Hubaldo, CTE

2013 Norte, honiec historii / Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan / North, the End of History

2014 Z tego, co było, po tym, co było / Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon / From What Is Before

Cast & Crew

director Lav Diaz
screenplay Lav Diaz
cinematography Larry Manda
editing Lav Diaz
cast Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Hazel Orencio, Alessandra de Rossi, Bernardo Bernardo, Joel Saracho, Susan Africa, Cherie Gil, Angel Aquino, Sid Lucero, Bart Guingona, Menggie Cobarrubias, Karenina Haniel, Matt Daclan
producer Bianca Balbuena
production TEN17P, Epicmedia, Sine Olivia Pilipinas, Potocol, Akanga Film Productions
sales Films Boutique
language Tagalog, Spanish, Mandarin, Filipino, English
colouration b&w