June 11 ------ Lav Diaz’s critically-acclaimed “Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis” will be available for free on YouTube starting June 12, aptly marking Independence Day with the eight-hour Filipino epic.
The entire film will be available to the public from June 12 to June 14, according to Ten17P, one of the film’s producers. “To celebrate Philippine Independence, we are streaming #HeleSaHiwagangHapis on TEN17P’s YouTube Channel for FREE this June 12 [to] 14,” the producer announced on Twitter yesterday, June 8. “Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis”, which has been screened in several film festivals around the world, bagged the prestigious Silver Bear award (previously called the Alfred Bauer award) during the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival in Germany. In the same festival, it was also nominated for the Golden Bear award, the highest award in Berlinale.
The eight-hour epic is a historical fantasy that revolves around Gregoria de Jesus, Andres Bonifacio’s widow, as she searches for his husband’s and his brother-in-law Procopio’s remains in the mountains. The film also notably features characters inspired by Jose Rizal novels “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo”: Simoun (Crisostomo Ibarra) was played by Piolo Pascual, Isagani was played by John Lloyd Cruz, Basilio was played by Sid Lucero, while Padre Florentino was played by the late Menggie Cobarrubias.
The world of “Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis” (“A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery”), filled with Filipino history and lore, also features engkantos and the mythological figure Bernardo Carpio. Other than Cruz, Pascual and Lucero, other artists in the film’s star-studded cast include Angel Aquino, Hazel Orencio, Alessandra de Rossi, Bernardo Bernardo, Cheri Gil, Susan Africa, Ely Buendia, Ronnie Lazaro and Bart Guingona.