A chronicle of the struggles of a young woman held captive by her father and forced into prostitution in the Bicol region of the Philippines. Her story eventually intersects with that of a farmer and his dying wife, as well as that of two treasure seekers from the city.
A two-year shoot expanded a story of poor treasure hunters into one interwined with the tale of a woman who drifts through the countryside looking to understand her addled mind and damaged body. As our critic reported upon the film’s premiere in Rotterdam, this is “cinema at its most basic, naked.”
Lav Diaz is one of the greatest artists in cinema today. 6 hours of stunning cinema. Don't expect to see this playing at your local commercial theater. Not unless it is part of a film festival. This is the second film I have seen by Diaz, the other was 5 hours long, both worth every minute! . 3/23/17 Even better the 2nd viewing. (projected) This is what makes my Mubi subscription worth the yearly price. Thanks, Mubi!
I've never been a fan of Lav's primitive visual form; wide angle and basic framing which detaches the immersion and makes you feel at a distance. His films lack the thematic interest of works such as Satantango and although I admire slowness and contemplation so much, Lav's works often feel more an endurance test rather than extended immersion. In many ways, his form is closer to Benning than masters like Tarr.
The film is full of breathtaking but also cruel shots, some of which contain a rare beauty (e.g. the sequences in the boat or the mute shots in the woods) while others appear like framed genre paintings, sometimes containing allegorical scenes (like the pietà group sitting in the brook). By using non-linear narration and allegories Diaz creates a very sophisticated movie, but in the end everything fits together.
Con tutto il rispetto per Diaz ,un film di 6 ore di cui almeno 2 sono dedicate a due persone che scavano con in sottofondo un rumore da crisi isterica è oggettivamente insostenibile per chiunque.
Personalmente mi ha stremato a tal punto che alla fine la storia di FH è passata in secondo piano
It is a wonderful film. The film is like a closed box that does not allow you to escape. Florentina's traumatic life is what you have to experience up-close, there is no turning back. Hyperrealist I will call it, the violence mostly happens outside the frame, and yet the film couldn't have been more violent.
Suffering as an unescapable part of life, as something towards which (and as an audience "in front of which") we cannot do much about.
On another hand, the way suffering and evil are presented makes one almost naturalize and accept it – to a point of almost turning it against the film's perspective itself.
It also flirts with redundancy at some points (and I don't mean those when Florentina repeats her name).