Lav Diaz’s ‘Ang Panahon ng Halimaw’ opens tomorrow

Piolo Pascual as the poet, Hugo in a scene from “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw”

LAV Diaz’s critically acclaimed rock opera, “Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” is set to open in select Ayala Malls on May 30.

The film, which runs four hours long, is set in a remote village in the Philippines in the 1979 when violence is imposed by a military-backed government.

Playing key roles are Piolo Pascual as Hugo Haniway, an activist, poet and teacher and Shaina Magdayao as Lorena, Hugo’s wife who is a doctor.

Lorena opens a clinic for the poor but mysteriously disappears, triggering Hugo to look for her and fight against their oppressors.

“Ang Panahon ng Halimaw” was an official entry to the 68th Berlinale-Berlin International Film Festival last January.

It won the Gems Category at the Colombia International Film Festival in March.

On Instagram, Magdayao has been sharing photos of their shoot in Malaysia since last year.

“Grabe. Ang gusto ko lang naman ay ang makatrabaho siya. Kahit nga “ekstra” sa pelikula niya. Pero binigyan niya ako ng role, ng hindi basta role, isang challenge,” the 28-year-old actress said of Diaz, whose works include such masterpieces as “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” and “Ang Araw Bago Ang Wakas,” among others.

Magdayao said she was grateful to Diaz and producer Bianca Balbuena for making her part of the film.

“Naniwala sila na kaya ko umarte at kumanta. Kahit na alam ng lahat na hiyang hiya akong kumanta,” she added.

The other actors in the film are Pinky Amador, Bituin Escalante, Hazel Orencio, Bart Guingona, Joel Saracho, Angel Aquino, Lilit Reyes, Don Melvin Boongaling, Noel Sto. Domingo, and Ian Lomongo.

Amador in an Instagram post said, “I am an actress. This is our Art. This is How we Fight.”

She also introduced her character, Aling Sinta whose husband and son were taken by the Armed Forces during Martial Law.

Amador said Aling Sinta was later “demonized” as part of the oppressors’ “propaganda” to sow lies and fear in Barrio Ginto.

TAGS: Lav Diaz, opens, tomorrow
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