Hele is perhaps one of Diaz’s strongest films in recent years. For me, it doesn’t quite reach Florentina or Encantos, but it is also very difficult to put them into relation because they were made under different circumstances. More on my website: http://is.gd/uaSD8i
Presents itself like a bit of string, a strange box, and a few sheets of paper only to slowly transform into the most beautiful gift. Patient viewers will be rewarded. Also, blown away by the performances of Susan Africa, Hazel Orencio, and (in particular) Alessandra de Rossi, as three of the most complex characters Díaz has taken on to date.
I feel deeply connected with the Filipino people watching Lav’s films, as if the stories were part of my own history. In contrast to The Woman Who Left or Century Of Birthing this one felt hastily put together though, without fully tapping its potential. I don’t want to say this but maybe he should take more time to refine next time.
Lav Diaz immerses us in his beautiful black and white, eight-hour obra that weaves Philippine history and Philippine's great literature in order to make a present statement about the role of art, youth, education and hope amidst the myth-making Philippines. As a Filipina activist, I find this film a beautiful addition to our film industry, and also a great political statement on our current condition.