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From What Is Before(Mula sa kung ano ang noon)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Philippines

2014

5h 40m

Director Lav Diaz

Starring Perry Dizon, Roeder, Hazel Orencio, Karenina Haniel

Genre Drama

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The Philippines, 1972. Mysterious things are happening in a remote barrio. Wails are heard from the forest, cows are killed, a man is found bleeding to death at the crossroad and houses are burned.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

58

The Film Stage by

While the historical scope of From What Is Before is huge, its emotional palette is a bit limited.
90

The Hollywood Reporter by Clarence Tsui

Whereas there are still long takes aplenty, most of them startlingly exquisite, the film feels, for once, very urgent in relaying the faultlines of real Filipino history.
100

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The endless chaos of nature embodies the abstract threat of imminent destruction; by imbuing these shots with a combination of mystical allure and darker possibilities, Diaz creates a haunting atmosphere that makes it possible to absorb the story even when it slows to a crawl.
90

Variety by Justin Chang

The fragile interplay of nature and civilization is best expressed in the way Diaz frequently sets the stage for each scene, allowing us to absorb the contours and details of every location before ever so gradually introducing human characters, looking small and ant-like, into the frame.

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