Lav Diaz film main entry in Berlin film fest
(The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Lav Diaz’s “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis” (A Lullaby for the Sorrowful Mystery) has been chosen to compete in the Main Competition section of the Berlin International Film Festival 2016 (Berlinale).

Its world premier is set on Feb. 18 and the awards night is on Feb. 21 with Meryl Streep as president of jury.

The film is Diaz’s first main competition in the Big 3 – Cannes, Berlin, Venice – and a long overdue recognition of being accepted into the section after years of participation in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, Venice’s Orrizonti and the Berlinale Forum.

Hele is about the history of Filipinos and boasts of having the biggest cast ensemble in current Philippine film history.

Its lead stars are John Lloyd Cruz and Piolo Pascual, with Cherie Gil, Angel Aquino, Bernardo Bernardo, Alessandra De Rossi, Hazel Orencio, Susan Africa, Joel Saracho, Ely Buendia, Sid Lucero;

Ronnie Lazaro, Menggie Cobarrubias, Bart Guingona, Jean Judith Javier, Sheenly Gener, Paul Jake Paule, Noel Sto. Domingo, Matt Daclan, Melo Esguerra, Bianca Balbuena, Moira Lang, Bradley Liew, Kristine Kintana, Karenina Haniel, Sigrid Bernardo, Rcee Tenefrancia and Kuya Manzano as supporting actors.

Diaz said he was surprised but thankful that many actors agreed to join his film about revolution.

Interconnected narratives on the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1897 against the Spanish characterize Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis – the story of the ballad Jocelynang Baliwag, which became the hymn of the revolution; Gregoria de Jesus’ forlorn search for the body of the Father of Philippine Revolution Andres Bonifacio; the journey of our national hero’s fictional book characters Simon and Isagani; the role of the Philippine mythical hero of strength Bernardo Carpio and the half-man, half-horse tikbalang/engkanto, and a discourse on the Filipino psyche. It is a marriage of history, literature and mythology, Diaz said.

A LULLABY ACIRC ALESSANDRA DE ROSSI ANGEL AQUINO BART GUINGONA BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BERNARDO BERNARDO BERNARDO CARPIO BIANCA BALBUENA DIAZ HIWAGANG HAPIS
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