Piolo Pascual for "A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery" (Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

We had the chance to interview one of the lead actors of "Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis" (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) Piolo Pascual, the Silver Bear Winner (Alfred Bauer Prize) at the Berlinale Film Festival in Germany. Bringing pride and fame to the country in an international stage was just phenomenal. Lav Diaz the film's Director, Writer and Editor felt like a rockstar, and was treated like one in the yearly film festival held in Berlin.

Piolo Pascual, one of the film's lead actors said "Why are the Filipinos so consumed with elections? This is really timely because it tells the story of the revolution. More than the students, it's the one outside that might be able to benefit from this. There's no difference in making this than the ordinary 2 hour films. Actors were challenged, Direk Luv didn't explain things to us but the content is already there and it's very poetic." 

"The way he writes, you feel it when you're saying it like the character. We had to do our homework, we ask small instructions but it's madness. He just says rock and roll! We were told a day before that we were going to win an award, he was very celebrated even though the one that won the golden bear was a documentary. It was between that and us. We didn't have a chance to take selfies, but Meryl Streep was in the stage in an hour so I got to decipher her, and understood she's larger than life."



"In this film, it was easy to understand history and learn Simoun and Crisostomo Ibarra's characters. We had to shoot in Sorsogon and Bataan, I felt like an artist when Luv asked me to walk in murky waters. I had to say everything in verbatim and he explains how it came about. Rizal's sacrifice is not in vain, the novel he did was all finished in Berlin. There are a lot of people that believe in being an independent and free country. The people in Berlin connected with us because there were a lot of similarities. The 8 hour film isn't boxed up, we got the Silver Bear because that's the category we apltly fit."

He adds "We're not worried about box office success because as of now we've got about 80 international festivals who invited us before and after Berlin so that alone can cover expenses. We should all enrich our lives, even if we're battling Batman vs Superman, this is Piolo and John Llloyd and we just didn't have capes for it."

"It's important to educate audiences and it's an honor to build this market. This is not a mainstream film but this is not about me or any star, it's about history and culture. It was so good to film this, indie, we got locked up a whole week in Sorsogon, it is about a bigger whole about you, about finding your own identity. It was edited in New York and the 5 hour film turned into an 8 hour one, it deserves to be sat down in one time. It's cinema, cinema is poetry, it's an expression. I had a 17 minute scene with Bart Guingona and it was an 8 page scene which we had to shoot again twice."

"This is for us and the Filipino people, I wouldn't trade it for the world, I hope it would echo to the pinoys because you'll get a different understanding, your identity, who and where you are now. This is an epic film, production, you get renewed with your passions and being Filipino. I became humbled, it was hard to play how you're almost dying. We should never stop learning and breaking new grounds, to showcase your talent, further respect in cinema."

He talks about Lloydie and says "I've seen him grow, we're like the same persons you saw in Tonight with Boy Abunda. We've been really good friends as we've been together in tours and events in the past, he's a great actor, and we're like the same person."

Their film "Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis" will be shown in select cinemas starting March 26, 2016 and is planned to have breaks in between. The film also stars Ms. Cherie Gil, Alessandra de Rossi, Sid Lucero, Angel Aquino, Ronnie Lazaro, Bernardo Bernardo and Hazel Orencio. This is also produced by Star Cinema and they will show the full 8 hour film without edits. This is historic, something that's never been done in Philippine cinema. I can't wait to see it on Sunday during the advanced screening!


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