Norte, the End of History

Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan

Norte, the End of History has the title of a war epic and the soul and scope of a Great Novel.”  — Wesley Morris, Grantland

Director: Lav Diaz
Year: 2013
Country: Philippines
Running time: 250 mins
Censor Rating: R13 - violence, offensive language, content that may disturb

Editor: Lav Diaz
Producer: Raymond Lee
Screenplay: Lav Diaz, Rody Vera
Photography: Lauro Rene Manda
Production designer: Perry Dizon
Sound: Corinne De San Jose
In Tagalog with English subtitles

With: Sid Lucero (Fabian), Archie Alemania (Joaquin), Angeli Bayani (Eliza), Angelina Kanapi (Hoda), Soliman Cruz (Wakwak), Mae Paner (Magda), Hazel Orencio (Ading)

Festivals: Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2013

For those who favour cinema that accumulates its power slowly, this new film by the Filipino director Lav Diaz was the one to relish at Cannes this year.

Norte, the End of History grapples with big abstract themes – justice, the nature of evil, guilt, fate, love – but keeps them firmly rooted in the concrete particulars of Philippine society. A drop-out law student grows ever more twisted in his take on life, airing political views that could be construed as fascist and deliberately alienating friends and family. Another man, decent and simple, seems incapable of providing for his impoverished family. When the student murders the pawnbroker who lends them both money, as well as her daughter, the other man is mistakenly jailed for the crime.There are clear nods to Dostoevsky, but the student’s descent into ever more horrific depths is only one element, beautifully counterpointed with the imprisoned man’s spiritual awakening, his wife’s struggle to cope without him and raise their children, and their continued love for each other despite the hand they’ve been dealt. The episodic, unpredictable narrative proceeds by way of a series of stunning long takes, all visually and spatially perfectly choreographed.

It’s a mesmerising experience that grows deeper and broader the longer it goes on.” — Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound

“The film that really excited me [at Cannes] in a way that others didn’t is the four-hour Lav Diaz film Norte, the End of History, which I felt was extraordinary… Using those four hours to take a narrative in unexpected directions, it was beautiful and unexpected.” — Jonathan Romney, Film Comment