This year’s edition of the Venice Film Festival, its seventy-third, has listed a most exciting lineup, featuring works from Francois Ozon, Wim Wenders, Derek Cianfrance, Andrei Konchalovsky, Ana Lily Amirpour, and other great filmmakers. But of course, I’m here to report on one particular film: Lav Diaz’s Ang Babaeng Humayo (Eng. title: The Woman Who Left), which is competing at the festival.

The news came from Variety, who so kindly bothered to describe the film as “almost four hours long,” adding to the long list of perps responsible for grossly reducing Diaz’s cinema. To everyone else who cares, the film is inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s short story, “God Sees the Truth but Waits”, which tells the story of a man convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. The story, often described by pundits as a “parable of forgiveness”, is somewhat reminiscent of the 2013 film Norte: Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan, which is Diaz’s loose adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, where an innocent man gets imprisoned for murder.

VFF 2016: Lav Diaz's 'Ang Babaeng Humayo' competes

Film banner for Ang Babaeng Humayo. Photo via Ronald Arguelles.

“I immediately empathized with my character,” points out Charo Santos-Concio, who stars in the film. “It’s a story of forgiveness, of transcendence.”

Santos-Concio completes the film’s cast with John Lloyd Cruz, Nonie Buencamino, Shamaine Buencamino, Cacai Bautista and Michael de Mesa. No local play date has been discussed as yet, but seeing the stature of people involved with the project, it’s almost safe to assume that a wide Philippine release is on the table (see: Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis).

To close, I’d like to see a show of hands of those keen to watch the new Lav Diaz film. Wave your hands in the comments section. Also, to those interested, I’m listing the whole Venice Film Festival lineup below.



• The Bad Batch, Ana Lily Amirpour (U.S.)
• Une Vie, Stephan Brizé (France, Belgium)
• La La Land, Damien Chazelle (U.S.)
• The Light Between Oceans, Derek Cianfrance (U.S., Australia, New Zealand)
• El ciudadano ilustre, Mariano Cohn, Gaston Duprat (Argentina, Spain)
• Spira Mirabilis, Massimo D’Anolfi, Martina Parenti (Italy, Switzerland)
• The Woman Who Left, Lav Diaz (Philippines)
• La region salvaje, Amat Escalante (Mexico)
• Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford (U.S.)
• Piuma, Roan Johnson (Italy)
• Paradise, Andrei Konchalovsky (Russia, Germany)
• Brimstone, Martin Koolhoven (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, U.K. Sweden)
• On the Milky Road, Emir Kusturica (Serbia, U.K., U.S.)
• Jackie, Pablo Larrain (U.S., Chile)
• Voyage of Time, Terrence Malick (U.S., Germany)
• El Cristo ciego, Christopher Murray (Chile, France)
Frantz, Francois Ozon (France)
• Questi Giorni, Giuseppe Piccioni (Italy)
Arrival, Denis Villenueve (U.S.)
• The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez, Wim Wenders (France, Germany)


Special Event
“The Young Pope” (Episodes 1, 2), Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, France, Spain, U.S.)

Special Out-Of-Competition Screenings
Dark Night, Tim Sutton (U.S.)
Planetarium, Rebecca Zlotowski (France, Belgium)

The Bleeder, Philippe Falardeau (U.S., Canada)
The Magnificent Seven, Antoine Fuqua (U.S.)
Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson  (U.S.)
The Journey, Nick Hamm (U.K.)
A jamais, Benoit Jacquot (France, Portugal)
Gantz:O, Yasushi Kawamura (Japan)
The Age of Shadows, Kim Jee woon (South Korea)
Monte, Amir Naderi (Italy, U.S., France)
Tommaso, Kim Rossi Stewart (Italy)

Our War, Bruno Chiaravallotti, Claudio Jampaglia, Benedetta Argentieri (Italy, U.S.)
I Called Him Morgan, Kasper Collin (Sweden, U.S.)
One More Time with Feeling, Andrew Dominik  (U.K.)
Austerlitz, Sergei Loznitsa (Germany)
Assalto al cielo, Francesco Munzi (Italy)
Safari, Ulrich Seidl (Austria, Denmark)
American Anarchist, Charlie Siskel  (U.S.)

Tarde para la ira, Raul Arevalo (Spain)
King of the Belgians, Peter Brosens, Jessica Woolworth (Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria)
Through the Wall, Rama Burshtein (Israel)
Liberami, Federica Di Giacomo (Italy, France)
Big Big World, Reha Erdem (Turkey)
Gukuroku, Ishikawa Kei (Japan)
Maudit Poutine, Karl Lemieux, (Canada)
Sao Jorge, Marco Martins (Portugal, France)
Dawson City: Frozen Time, Bill Morrison (U.S., France)
Reparer les vivants, Katell Quillevere (France, Belgium)
White Sun, Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal, U.S., Qatar, Netherlands)
Malaria, Parviz Shahbazi (Iran)
Kekszakallu, Gaston Solnicky (Argentina)
Home, Fien Troch (Belgium)
Die Einsiedler, Fien Troch (Germany, Austria)
Il più grande sogno, Michelle Vannucci (Italy)
Boys in the Trees, Nicholas Verso (Australia)
Bitter Money, Wang Bing (China)

Inseparables, Marcos Carnevale (Argentina)
Franca: Chaos and Creation, Francesco Carrozzini (Italy, U.S.)
In Dubious Battle, James Franco (U.S.)
The Net, Kim Ki-duk (South Korea)
Summertime, Gabriele Muccino (Italy)
The Secret Life of Pets, Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney (U.S.)
Robinu, Michele Santoro (Italy)
My Art, Laurie Simmons (U.S.)