Ishmael Bernal (30 September 1938 – 2 June 1996) was an acclaimed Filipino film, stage and television director. He was also an actor and screenwriter. Noted for his melodramas particularly with feminist and moral issues, his 1982 film Himala (Miracle) is often cited as one of the greatest Filipino films of all time. —Wikipedia
This movie manages to be both a scathing critique of blind faith and organized religion gone mad, and a deeply spiritual work. A young girl named Elsa has a vision of the Virgin Mary and begins to believe herself a healer, and a media circus ensues. As this central drama unfolds there are numerous side dramas that unfold. Towards the middle the movie takes on a satirical tone that reminded me of the best of Bunuel, especially in the treatment of the rampant commercialism that springs up around Elsa, but by the end it's all tragic. On the downside, some of the subplots are not terribly interesting and only serve to muddle and elongate the movie, but it does not detract from the overall impact. And in a world where people crucify themselves out of blind devotion, the message that there are no miracles and curses, that we are the masters of our own destiny, is a timely one.