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‘Halimaw’ comes home

/ 12:03 AM April 10, 2018

Lav Diaz and the cast of “Henrico’s Farm” (from left): Shaina Magdayao, Hazel Orencio, Charo Santos-Concio, Angeli Bayani and Karenina Haniel —Photo by Looi Wan Ping, Singapore International Festival of Arts 2017

After premiering at the Berlinale and holding screenings in Mexico, Colombia, Lithuania and Hong Kong, Lav Diaz’s martial law musical “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil)” finally comes home to Manila.

Organized by the Film Producers Society, the four-hour film’s Philippine premiere will be held at UP Cine Adarna, in Diliman, on April 20, 5 p.m.

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Meanwhile, its screenings all over the world continue. On April 7, Diaz’s film was shown at the 11th Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International in Germany. Then, it will be screened at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, set in Argentina from April 11 to 22.

Also scheduled are stops in Moscow, Russia; Jeonju, South Korea; and Basel, Switzerland.

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In the meantime, here’s a quick online conversation with Diaz, who after hopping from one plane to another (he served as juror in Mexico and graced the recent HK event), is juggling several new projects (the full-length feature “Henrico’s Farm,” which is his reunion with “Ang Babaeng Humayo” actress Charo Santos-Concio and the short film “Hugaw,” which is part of the omnibus with Brillante Ma Mendoza and Kidlat Tahimik).

What were the common questions about martial law and the country’s current problems that were asked by foreign viewers? Para sa mga ’di nakakaalam sa atin, sa kasaysayan natin, nagugulat sila na dumaan ang bayan sa ganung kadilim na panahon, ang panahon nga ng martial law, ng
diktadurang Marcos.

Pero marami namang pamilyar sa kasaysayan natin at nagpapasalamat sila na ginagamit natin ang medium ng cinema para buhayin at harapin ang nakaraan lalo na’t malalang-malala na ang kanser ng paglimot sa ating bayan; at malalang-malala na ang rebisyunismo sa kasaysayan; at nakakabahalang ang mga nagsasagawa ng mga kasalaulaang ito ay ang mga
pinuno ng bayan.

Diaz on the set of “Halimaw” in Malaysia

Were they able to connect the past with the present? Oo. Nakikita nilang nauulit lagi ang mga pagkakamali ng nakaraan.

What was the reaction of the critics and ordinary viewers? Sa mga kritikong Germans, nasa taas tayo, ayon sa mga survey ng newspapers at magazines. Pati sa ibang European critics, South American, Asian, positibo. Sa mga English at American reviewers, medyo tinatamad at iresponsable ang mga pagrerebyu nila, hinahanap nila si Iron Man, may tendency pa rin silang mag-impose ng pananaw at praxis; parang ang laki ng kasalanan ng Asyanong filmmaker at ’di tayo sumusunod sa gusto nilang paggawa ng pelikula, at nasira ang pag-upo nila sa loob ng sinehan habang kumakain sila ng popcorn at umiinom ng soda at namimighati sila sa isang istupidong Donald Trump.
Sa mga ordinaryong manonood, maganda ang response nila.

For you, who are the “Halimaw” and the Devils of our time? Para sa mga Pilipinong may tama pang katinuan, hindi pa nahihibang at hindi pa nauulol, maliwanag kung sino ang mga halimaw ng bayan.

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TAGS: “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” (Season of the Devil), Halimaw, Lav Diaz
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