The Venice Golden Lion-winning epic from Filipino master Lav Diaz (From What Is Before, SFF 2015) explores a woman’s quest for revenge following her unjust 30-year incarceration.
Lav Diaz is known for his very long narrative films that reflect on the history of the Philippines and the effect on its present. In The Woman Who Left, over nearly four hours Diaz focuses on Horacia (Charo Santos-Cancio) who has spent 30 years in a women’s prison for a murder she didn’t commit. Unexpectedly released, Horacia finds her country outside the prison walls has changed drastically – her family has scattered, and the nation is terrorised by kidnappings and government corruption.
A humane meditation on forgiveness and a criticism of systemic inequality, shot in rich, saturated black and white, The Woman Who Left is testament to Diaz’s uncompromising and beguiling artistry.
Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
[A] powerful, thoughtful melodrama that pulls you into its world and delivers a number of irresistible emotional coups. – Jonathan Romney, Screen International
The Woman Who Left is an immensely immersive and engaging tale about a wronged individual's gruelling struggle between reconciliation and revenge … featuring Diaz's immaculate imagery — in high-contrast black and white, as usual — and a majestic performance from Charo Santos... – Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter
Weighing in at 228 minutes, a restrained runtime by the Filipino director’s standards, The Woman Who Left is more contained than much of his work: its personal and political concerns converge powerfully in the story of one woman, reacquainting herself with her socially ravaged homeland after unjustly spending 30 years in the slammer. At the same time, the film’s deliberately rambling heft evokes the lingering, far-reaching sorrow of an entire nation. – Guy Lodge, Variety
Tagalog with English subtitles
Ang Babaeng Humayo
Lav Diaz, Ronald Arguelles
Charo Santos-Concio, John Lloyd Cruz, Michael De Mesa
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