A majestic film in which two stories easily fit. One about a filmmaker who is a little like Diaz himself and wrestles with the completion of his film and with greedy film festival programmers. And one about a religious leader. Also a little like Diaz himself?
The films of Lav Diaz often tell serious epic stories, but they are still not entirely free from humour and satire. For instance in this film, Diaz takes the mickey out of festival programmers and also sketches a picture of himself that is not entirely free from self-mockery.
The film has two or three stories (also a film in the film) and one of them focuses on the filmmaker Homer, who very much resembles Lav Diaz himself. The tortured filmmaker wrestles with completing his film. Despite pleas from those around him and from eager programmers, he continues to refuse to regard his film as finished. Alongside the story about a nun in the film on which Homer is working, there’s another story about the religious leader Father Turbico. Turbico leads a sect in the countryside that is primarily made up of young women. When one of the women wants to leave the sect, a dramatic situation ensues.
By telling the stories in parallel, similarities become visible between Homer’s struggle with cinema and Turbico's struggle with faith.