` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis Returns to the Cinematheques this April



Having premiered to the country just last March 26, 2016, filling up the theaters on a Black Saturday, the Silver Bear: Alfred Bauer Prize-winning epic by Lav Diaz returns to the Cinematheque Centre Manila and the other regional Cinematheques this April in response to the encouraging demand for the film.


Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis debuted at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, joining the main competition and being presented to a panel of judges which included the esteemed actress Meryl Streep in its ranks. The film unfolds over eight hours, a tribute to our nation’s history and culture, mixing fact with fiction by introducing Philippine national heroes and historical figures with the country’s known literary characters and monsters from folklore in its revolution-era narrative. Using Diaz’s signature long, still camera shots and black-and-white palette, Hele is a contemplative journey through the Katipunan revolt, of Gregoria de Jesus’s search for her captive husband, Bonifacio, and of Isagani and Simoun’s escape into safety following the latter’s failed plan for our country’s freedom. The film is populated by memorable characters, both real and imagined, led by a stellar cast of notable commercial and independent film actors: Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Hazel Orencio, Alessandra de Rossi, Susan Africa, Joel Saracho, Cherie Gil, Angel Aquino, and Bernardo Bernardo, among many others.


Following its success in Berlinale, Hele was picked up by commercial outfit Star Cinema for distribution. Major promotion and word-of-mouth led to packed theaters for the film that weekend of the Holy Week, despite competition from Hollywood features. Even the Cinematheque Centre Manila sold out in just the first day of promotion for its Saturday screening.


With this, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis screens again in the Cinematheque Centre Manila from April 7 to 10, Thursday to Sunday. The other Cinematheques also re-screen the film on the following weekends, with Cinematheque Davao screening on April 16-17, Cinematheque Iloilo on April 23-24, and Cinematheque Baguio on April 30-May 1. Manila screenings begin at 11 am, and regional screenings begin at 10 am,  with an 8-hour, 5-minute running time, with one one-hour break and one thirty-minute break. Admission is at P200. *Note: tickets for April 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, have sold out.


Film Development Council of the Philippines