Lav Diaz’s eight-hour Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby for the Sorrowful Mystery) has been officially selected to compete in the Main Competition section of the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival.
In black and white and running at 482 minutes, Hele marries history, literature, and mythology as it follows an interconnected narratives during the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1897 against the Spanish.
Diaz’s film is said to have the largest cast ensemble in current Philippine cinema history, with lead stars John Lloyd Cruz and Piolo Pascual. Also included in the cast are are 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, among others.
The world premiere of Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis is set for February 18, with the awards on February 21 with with award-winning Hollywood actress Meryl Streep as the jury’s president.
Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis is up against 14 other movies from around the world. Berlinale is considered as one of the biggest film festivals apart from Cannes and Venice.