In collaboration with FILMADRID, a new space devoted to contemporary auteur cinema, the Museo Reina Sofía and Filmoteca Española (the Spanish Film Institute) welcome the retrospective Lav Diaz. The Evolution of a Filipino Film-maker, centred upon a contemporary director whose experiments with duration best represent the popular and tragic history of a community. This medium-scale retrospective presents the film-maker’s most recent work; unknown in Spain, it includes the premiere of his latest film, From What It Is Before. The series also incorporates the section “Focos” from the first edition of FILMADRID.
In his films Lav Diaz (Mindanao, Philippines, 1958) treads on a path that is as radical as it is identifiable and intimate. Unyielding and committed, his film work is the outcome of a dazzling blend of intimism and the epic as his view starts out from the concrete, from profound portraits of individuals enveloped in recognisable existential and moral crises, before reaching the collective – the tragic fate of the Philippine people. Thus, his work has been evolving since his debut at the end of the 1990s; a body of work that wholeheartedly spotlights the treatment of cinematic time, in the dialogue between the present and history, as well as the tangible and the immaterial. Shot in the rural areas of the Philippines, his films, often strictly in black and white and sometimes running for up to 11 hours, offer a fragile and precarious fresco of the desolation in the lives of the Philippine people during the period of oppression under Ferdinand E. Marcos. Despite its impossible presence in film theatres, the work of Lav Diaz has not only taken centre stage at international film festivals (Locarno, Rotterdam and Toronto), it has also paved the way for the so-called Philippine New Wave, one of the most recent and decisive film movements, made up of directors such as Raya Martin, Brillante Mendoza and Khavn De la Cruz, among others.