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203 Ratings

The Woman Who Left

Ang Babaeng Humayo

Directed by Lav Diaz
Philippines, 2016


For Horacia Somorostro, living has become a veritable reclusion perpetua, an imprisonment. Life’s spins and randomness has been very difficult, vicious and inexplicable for her.

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The Woman Who Left Directed by Lav Diaz
I have to say that, sadly, this was the most difficult film by Diaz to sit through. For me, personally, of course. I’m sure that other people think differently, and that’s perfectly fine. I have troubles seeing people try to fit into their roles, trying to be convincing actors and actresses for four hours. . . . I found eight hours Melancholia much easier than The Woman, because it kept me awake, it kept me engaged. The Woman is, as I said above, the easiest Lav Diaz film.
March 02, 2018
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At once stately and unassuming, austere and raunchy, “The Woman Who Left” is largely composed of impressively long takes that are most often static medium shots. (Mr. Diaz served as his own director of photography.) The precisely placed camera rarely moves — and when it does, as with tracking shots exploring the parties and tawdry forms of entertainment on the local beach, the sense of release is in some ways comparable to Horacia’s own.
February 23, 2018
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Impressive is the digital black-and-white cinematography, which Diaz uses at times to obfuscate the characters’ identifies, physical appearances or actions. This and the continual use of medium shots bedim any intimate specificity, thus allowing the obliquely moralistic elements to stand out. It may be slow and steady, but it doesn’t win the race; rather, it revels in the journey to the finish line.
February 09, 2018
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