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Century of Birthing

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Directed by Lav Diaz
Philippines, 2011
Drama
  • Filipino
  • English
It's About Time: The Cinema of Lav Diaz

Synopsis

An artist struggles to finish his work. A storyline about a cult plays in his head: Fundamentalism will destroy the world. The artist’s muse is endangered by his process. Will he redeem her, in the end?

Our take

Like some of the best 19th-century novelists, Lav Diaz is a genius at interweaving multiple stories to create a truly expanded canvas of characters, landscapes and social and political struggle. In this masterpiece, three strands oppose each other and then, in an impressive arc, fall into parallel.

Century of Birthing Directed by Lav Diaz

Critics reviews

Filipino maestro Lav Diaz continues to push, prod and reinvent his personal yet universal cinema with “Century of Birthing.” A relatively short film for Diaz at two minutes shy of six hours, this saga follows the parallel stories of a procrastinating filmmaker artist (Perry Dizon) and a woman in a quasi-Christian cult (Angel Aquino), serving up ideas on matters of belief, creation and freedom that ultimately skew in a more hopeful direction than some of the helmer’s recent epics.
October 02, 2011
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Diaz’s simple digital set-ups and long-take format, which film narratives that first oppose one another only to slowly, over the long arc of the film, fall into parallel tracks on the cinema canvas, speak with a humility, openness and freshly direct interest in both the filmed-world and the melodrama of his characters… It is never less than generous, always giving its audience something to look at or listen to, an emotional core to find, a question to pursue, a rhythm to inhabit.
September 11, 2011
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Diaz alternates long scenes of high intensity with generous, observant takes, producing a rich tapestry in which the main themes forcefully emerge as their poetic rhymes on different levels get more pronounced, while taking time to explore his subjects and their society with unusual complexity. Also, the cult’s hymn surely is the catchiest anthem around on the festival circuit.
September 01, 2011
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