Film

Film: For The Filipinos, With Love – A retrospective of Lav Diaz’s cinema

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Active Vista International Human Rights Festival (AVIHRF) honors critically-acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz through Active Vista Forefront for his mastery in telling the stories of the Filipino people’s narrative of struggle and triumph. Diaz’s recent film Himala: Isang Dayalekta ng ating Panahon (2020), along with Lahi, Hayop (2020), and Batang West Side (2001) will be screened on Active Vista and DAKILA as part of the festival program.

“With this year’s festival theme Kwento Natin ‘To: Reclaiming our Stories as a Nation, AVIHRF believes in the power of stories — imagined or real — in shaping history to change the narratives of our lives, thus we pay homage to filmmakers who have catalyzed change through their unique storytelling,” Active Vista Festival Director Alex Poblete says.

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As one of the revolutionaries and pioneers of filmmaking and as someone who currently holds the highest accolade that was ever given to a Filipino filmmaker,  we recognize Diaz’s continued march at the forefront of the Filipino people’s creative resistance, leading us into an awakening of the Filipino people’s struggles embracing it as our own. His  cinema has shown the power of storytelling in inciting change, and has proven to let the Filipino audience own it by inviting them to watch his films and stay at the moviehouse for 4 to 11 hours at length.”

Diaz, one of the pioneers of slow cinema, has been making long narrative films since 1991 with iconic titles such as Batang West Side, Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan, and his most recent film, Lahi, Hayop. With an unusual length for a film, his longest at 11 hours, Lav once said in an interview that “cinema should be free,” — an interesting take on the art of filmmaking. Lav Diaz’s cinema often tackles socio-political issues such as feudalism, fascism, and our struggle to continue remembering the past that are still apparent to our current political climate.

“This year, as DAKILA continues to resist this administration’s outright human rights violations — from the government’s lack of better response to the pandemic to the continuous killings of the War on Drugs campaign, and towards cleaner national elections — we remain firm in telling our stories in AVIHRFl. We believe the real narrative of our nation doesn’t come from the fabricated stories of those in power, but from the real experiences of the Filipino people,” DAKILA Communications Director Andrei Venal says.

In his speech delivered at the Cinema One Originals in which he was granted the Special Honorary Award, Diaz said, “Huwag kayong matakot gumalaw na mag-isa kung kinakailangan. Huwag kayong matakot lumabang mag-isa kung hinihingi ng pagkakataon. Huwag kayong matakot lumaban para sa katotohanan.”

As these words still ring true today, DAKILA and Active Vista invite the Filipino audience to watch the Retrospective of Lav Diaz’s cinema.  Himala: Isang Dayalekta ng ating Panahon (2020) will be screened on September 26, 7PM; Lahi, Hayop (2020), and Batang West Side will be available September 27-October 3, and October 4-10, respectively.

For more information on the festival and the screenings, visit ActiveVista.ph.

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