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Monday, November 24, 2014

Lav Diaz wins Int’l recognition for epic movie

Locarno-winner Lav Diaz pulled off yet another international acclaim for his over 5 and a half-hour epic film, “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (From What is Before),” at the 38th São Paulo (Brazil) International Film Festival.

Diaz won the Best Film/Audience award which despite its unusual length, is engaging festival viewers and critical acclaim. The win comes after the filmmaker’s scooping the Golden Leopard prize in Geneva in August 2014 at the prestigious Locarno film festival in Switzerland, and the grand prize at the World Premieres Film Festival in July 2014.

The film is set in a remote village in the Philippines, where lives are tracked in the three years leading to the 1972 declaration of Martial Law by dictator president Ferdinand Marcos. It is overtly political in theme, filmed in black and white, and runs for 338 minutes.

The film follows Diaz’ form of slow cinema of long takes, but combines the unhurried visual pace with a sense of urgency in relaying real Filipino history. Scenes evoke Filipino traditions in musical wakes for the dead and faith healers. The traditional is interrupted by military operations; cows are hacked to death, houses are burned down and eerie wails are heard from the forests.
From What is Before takes the viewer on a journey of personal, spiritual and political dilemmas of a particular period in Philippine history.

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