by Lav Diaz
Country: Philippines, France
Year: 2023
Duration: 213'

When asked what drives a man to search for the truth, Lieutenant Hermes Papauran says dejectedly that maybe he just wants to keep inflicting pain on himself. Faced with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody murders and brazen lies, he continues his struggle to find resolution to a fifteen-year-old case around a volcanic ash laden landscape and an impenetrable lake. It has become a cross he can barely carry but keeps lugging anyway.


film director

Lav Diaz

(Cotabato, Philippines, 1958) studied at the Mowelfund Film Institute in Quezon City and debuted in 1997 with The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion, making a name for himself as one of the most innovative directors of Filipino cinema. Lasting legitimation arrived with Batang West Side (2002), which received awards at Brussels and Singapore, and with Evolution of a Filipino Family (2004), presented at Rotterdam and Turin, as also the documentary Storm Children (2014) and his masterpieces A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (2016). His films have been presented in Cannes (Norte - The End of History, 2013), Locarno (From What Is Before, 2014, Golden Leopard), Berlin (A Lullaby for the Sorrowful Mystery, 2016, Alfred Bauer Award) and Venice (The Woman Who Left, 2016, Golden Lion). 


Serafin Geronimo, kriminal ng baryo concepcion (The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion, 1998), Burger Boys (1999), Batang West Side (2002), Hesus rebolusyonaryo (Hesus the Revolutionary, 2002), Ebolusyon ng isang pamilayang Pilipino (Evolution of a Filipino Family, 2004), Heremias: Unang aklat - Ang alamat ng prinsesang bayawak (2005), Melancholia (2008), Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (2012), Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte - The End of History, 2013), Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What Is Before, 2014),Hele sa hiwagang hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, 2016), Ang babayeng humayo (The Woman Who Left, 2016), Ang panahon ng halimaw (Season of the Devil, 2018), Ang hupa (The Halt, 2019), Lahi, hayop (Genus Pan, 2020), Historya ni Ha (History of Ha, 2021), Isang salaysay ng karahasang Pilipino (A Tale of Filipino Violence, 2022), Kapag wala nang mga alon (When the Waves Are Gone, 2022), Essential Truths of the Lake (2023).


film director

“Facing then President Rodrigo Duterte’s unwarranted wrath which he unleashed with his murderous war on drugs policy that resulted to the senseless deaths of thousands of innocent people, what can a good policeman do, or what can a good Filipino do? Or facing Vladimir Putin’s cataclysmic actions, what can a good Russian soldier do, or what can a good Russian do? In the case of Lt. Hermes Papauran, arguably the Philippines’ greatest investigator, he becomes the Philippine Eagle, the endangered giant bird, inhabiting the deep mysteryofa cold case he has been trying to solve for years. It can be his Freudian act, finally acknowledging the discomforts the case has wrought on his being, and so taking refuge on the wings of a moribund species. Or it can be just a performance art, acknowledging one of the incarnations of Esmeralda Stuart, the major persona of the cold case. In the universe of great investigators, acknowledgment is one imperative attribute, a unique and seminal openness to details, to nuances, to jazz, to poetry, to melodrama, to philosophy, to truth. Great investigators are obsessive visionaries. And they are human beings.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR, SCREENPLAY, EDITING: Lav Diaz. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Lav Diaz, Larry Manda. PRODUCTION DESIGN: Allen Alzola. COSTUMES: Ivan Raborar. SOUND: Cecil Buban. CAST: John Lloyd Cruz, Hazel Orencio, Shaina Magdayao, Bart Guingona, Agot Isidro. PRODUCERS: Bianca Balbuena, Bradley Liew. CO-PRODUCERS: Jean-Christophe Simon, Joaquim Sapinho, Marta Alves. PRODUCTION: Epicmedia Productions, Films Boutique, Rosa Filmes. Co-production: Tier Pictures, Volos Films Italia, Bord Cadre Films, Sovereign Films, International sales, Films Boutique.

CONTACT: Revolver (Paolo Spina) revolver.produzione@gmail.com