Filipinos may now experience for themselves the Berlinale Film Festival Silver Bear-winning Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) by acclaimed director Lav Diaz this Holy Week.
Through Star Cinema, the film production arm of ABS-CBN Corp., the film will have its nationwide screening starting Black Saturday, March 26.
The eight-hour long epic features two big names from ABS-CBN’s stable of stars: John Lloyd Cruz and Piolo Pascual.
Cruz and Pascual play as Crisostomo Ibarra/Simoun and Isagani, characters from national hero Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, respectively. Director Lav Diaz examines this myth, and legend, of Andres Bonifacio, who was a prominent figure of the Philippine Revolution, and undertakes another expedition into the eventful history of his native land. The film’s various loosely interwoven narrative threads are held together by an exploration of the role of the individual in history and their involvement in political and social developments.
Diaz, one of the country’s most respected filmmakers, described his newest masterpiece as “a more intimate look into an important part of Philippine history.”
“Star Cinema and ABS-CBN has always believed in the artistry of the Filipino. By throwing our full support to this magnificent film, we hope to inspire both filmmakers and film-goers to continue to love and promote our own,” ABS-CBN chief operating officer for Star Creatives Malou Santos said.
A special screening of the film will be held at ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater on March 20, Sunday, at 12nn, to be attended by the cast and director, as well as producer Paul Soriano of Ten17 Productions. “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis” made waves in the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival last February where it was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize, which is given to a feature film that “opens new perspectives on cinematic art.” Apart from Cruz and Pascual, the picture also features other notable actors and actresses such as Cherie Gil, Alessandra de Rossi, Sid Lucero, Angel Aquino, Ronnie Lazaro, Bernardo Bernardo, and Hazel Orencio, who played Gregoria De Jesus, or Ka Oryang, Bonifacio’s widow.