For Lav Diaz, follow the Norte!
Multi-awarded at major film festivals (Toronto, Venice, Berlin), Filipino Lav Diaz returns to French screens this summer with When the waves recede, his nineteenth film (in competition at the Locarno festival). The opportunity to (re)discover an unknown artist, who draws as much from the side of Dostoyevsky (Norte, the end of the story) or Tolstoy (The woman who left) than popular culture or European auteur cinema, and whose work goes far beyond the condition of the Filipino individual or the postcolonial question.
Like a compass in the abundant work of the “ideological father of the new Filipino cinema”, North,
the end of the story, Lav Diaz’s first film distributed in France, remains a landmark. Because its duration, “only” 4 hours and 10 minutes, makes it possible to use it in theaters – the filmmaker’s productions can go up to 6, 9 or even 11 hours; because its subject – a student eaten away by his thirst for ideals assassinates the loan shark who tyrannizes his neighborhood –, inspired by Crime and Punishment, is universal; finally because it is one of the few Diaz films available on DVD. It was in 2015. Since then, the French public has been able to discover
The woman who left (Golden Lion in Venice in 2016) or the amazing Stop, a science fiction tale set in Southeast Asia where the sun has not risen for three years due to volcanic eruptions. This shows the extent to which Lav Diaz, born in 1958, tackles very diverse subjects in a political approach in the broad sense, deeply human, dedicated to the margins, to expropriated peasants, to abused women, to resistance fighters, in particular under martial law imposed by Ferdinand Marcos until 1986.