Previously at the ICA - Films

Lav Diaz, Norte: The End of History, 2013

Norte, The End of History

18 Jul 201430 Aug 2014

★★★★★ 'What incredible ambition: it is visionary film-making.'
- Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
★★★★★ 'Spellbinding... It’s bristling with plot and ideas.'
- Tim Robey, Telegraph
★★★★★ 'Makes you wish it were twice as long'.
- Time Out
★★★★★ 'Diaz's crime epic is a must-see.'
- Total Film
'A tour de force of slow cinema'.
- New York Times
'A marvel of simplicity, depth, and deviousness too'.
- Jonathan Romney, Filmcomment

The films of Filipino Lav Diaz – 12 features to date – are one of the glories of contemporary cinema, but are rarely if ever screened in the UK thanks in part to their epic durations: anything up to 11 hours.

Diaz's latest masterpiece weighs in at a relatively user-friendly four hours but more than earns every second of its screen time, as ecstatic critical reactions in the wake of its Cannes 2013 screenings testify. Diaz once again develops his longstanding engagement with Dostoevsky through an allegorically tinged tale of a nihilistic law student Fabian (a magnificent Sid Lucero), whose murder of a moneylender and her daughter prompts not only his own downfall, but the incarceration of a gentle family man, who mistakenly takes the rap.

Spellbinding deep-focus colour imagery and a seemingly effortless binding of intimate detail with epic sweep make this an absolute must-see.

Words: Kieron Corless

Norte: The End of History, dir. Lav Diaz, Philippines 2013, 250 mins. Tagalog with English subtitles

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