Lav Diaz photo
Lav Diaz’s Lahi, hayup competing in Venice International Film Festival (VIFF)
Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 30, 2020 - 12:00am

Here’s good news amidst the pandemic: Lav Diaz’s film, Lahi, hayup {Pan (genus)}, is in the Orizzonti Competition of the 2020 Venice International Film Festival (VIFF).

And here’s what Lav (photo) has to say:

I once was asked to define man, us so-called human beings, supposedly the most superior inhabitant of planet Earth, and due to the moment’s urgency. For a quick reply, all I could muster was an animal simile (Man is an animal), and I felt terrible, I thought I fumbled. But then looking back now, it was in fact the better answer.

Yes, in fact, man remains on that level, animal.

And I came upon a discourse exactly on this matter, that despite us being the better developed species, most of us still retains the demeanor and comportment of the chimpanzee, the genus pan, part of Hominidae, the great primate family. And so, by nature, we are violent, aggressive, obsessive, transgressive, imposing, envious, territorial and narcissistic/egotistical, very much like our cousin, the genus pan.

But then, there’s hope. The study says that the human brain is still developing and once it has achieved full development, man shall be complete, a truly self-actualized species, altruistic, saintly and true, just like Buddha, Gandhi, Christ and the farmer, Mang Osting who generously provides for my vegetarian needs.

Thus, this film, “Lahi, hayup” {Pan, (genus)}…It has always been my desire to make a film about animals; but, man as animal, man honestly acting like one, an animal, as he has been acting like an animal all his life anyway.

Lav is a well-loved director in international film festivals. His film Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left, starring Charo Santos-Concio) won the Golden Lion in the Main Competition of the 2016 VIFF.                                   

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