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South East Asian Film Festival - Diablo


Sun Mar 31 2013, 5:30pm

Where: SAM @ 8Q , 8 Queen Street, Bras Basah, Singapore

Restrictions: R21

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $9.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Tagalog with English subtitles.

Featuring a post-screening discussion with director Mes de Guzman

Aged matriarch Nana Lusig lives in a resplendent house that has seen better days. Every night, she lies sleepless as a dark figure looms near her room. Who is this shadow? The devil? Her late husband? A manifestation of anxieties or a figment of her imagination? Her five sons—a military man, a miner, a farmer, a religious leader, and a city shop-owner—have long since left the house. One day, her favorite son returns from the city with a woman, prompting questions about his intentions. This atmospheric film won best director and best picture at the 2012 Cinemalaya International Film Festival.

Independent filmmaker Mes de Guzman has won numerous Don Carlos Palanca awards for his scripts and the NCCA Grand Prize for his first novel manuscript, Rancho Dyanggo. His short film Rags (2001) won the Grand Prize for Short Film at the Marrakesh International Film Festival in Morocco and Best Short Film at the Philippines Urian Awards. His feature film The Road to Kalimugtong won the New Director's Prize Special Mention at the 2006 San Sebastian International Film Festival. Recently his feature At the Corner of Heaven and Earth (2011) won the Lino Brocka prize and a Best Director at Cinemalaya 2011. De Guzman writes, directs, designs, edits, and produces his own films.

Director’s Statement:
Diablo is a minimalist approach to the story of a mother’s journey and her sons’ eccentricities. The deliberate fashion and sparse dialogue through which the story unravels show the ambiguity of the setting and characters, and underscore the values of unity, love and family.

I convey these contentions through Lusing’s character and story. Her routine, almost ritualistic response and reaction to life, her flawed faith, her meek non-resistance and tolerance for anything, and her sluggish and stagnant situation are tackled and metaphorically presented. Everything in the film takes its own semiotics. Even the number and personalities of her children, the way and frequency with which they visit their mother, their strengths and secrets, their manner of bonding in the kitchen around a long table, the events befalling her youngest son (which may be a way of breaking the vicious cycle of inanimate existence), and the subtle devilish shadow that nightly inhabits Lusing’s mosquito net (whether the entity is true or purely subconscious remains to be analysed), among other images – all these are deliberate and definitive of the film’s mission.