Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ishmael Bernal's Himala (1982)

Nora Aunor shines as Elsa, in one of the most important Filipino films of all time. Aunor's most remarkable quality is her ability to express a myriad of emotions through her eyes, without even saying a word. This quality is scarce, even more so at present, where new actors and actresses are born out of reality shows and thrust into the limelight by sheer looks alone.

Himala tells the story of religious fanaticism, faithlessness, and how people rediscover real faith.

Set in the desolate town of Cupang, where poverty-stricken residents await a miracle. Hope comes in the person of Elsa, who claims to have seen the Virgin Mary. With mysterious healing powers, she starts to cure the residents of their ailments. Her fame quickly spreads, and soon, an avalanche of tourists from all over the country visit the town to see Elsa. People quickly succumb to greed as they build businesses for the tourist's money. Trouble escalates as a cholera epidemic takes the lives of children, while Elsa herself experience loss in the death of her friend Chayong, who hung herself after she was raped. Because of the deaths, the tourists leave town.

In her final act, Elsa gathers the people in the desert-like dunes where she had her visions. Before the crowd she finally confesses, .."Walang himala!.. ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao.." A shot is heard, and Elsa falls to the floor, clutching her bloody chest. All hell breaks loose as a stampede ensues and many people perish.

With the loss of Elsa and the others, the people of Cupang finally pray and discover the true meaning of their faith.

13 comments:

dazedblu* said...

yeah, this is one of the bestfilipon films of al time. itr's really a nora aunor classic.

Phoenix said...

@ dazedblu: the film is regularly shown abroad during festivals. it is a shame though, that the print that's available now is not of excellent quality.. halatang luma na yung film.. At least some stations still feature this film during Holy Week.. Grabe it's powerful talaga- and I'm a cinemaphile! Pag so-so kasi yung film wala lang akong reaction..

Phoenix said...

Could it be true, that Philippine Cinema is dead? o kung buhay pa man, terminal case na?!

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

the spy in the sandwich said...

in himala, nora embodies the best of philippine cinema. this is one of my favorite movies of all time, almost unequalled

Phoenix said...

@ rodrigo: sorry, i don't speak italian ; ) I checked the link though and it is a very interesting site with all those custom made T's ; )

Phoenix said...

@ the spy in the sandwich: I agree! I think other classics worth watching are oro, plata, mata and ..hmmm Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag? I liked the novel.. the film ok lang.

mink_twink said...

hindi ko pa napapanood to. i know it will be worth it

JOSH said...

Himala s truly a pinoy film's best of d best. She also shines in, my bro is not a pig...aahh, Minsan may isang gamo gamo, dats d title i think & her banawe film.

I've seen himala, sure wish i could watch it again soon.

MISTERHUBS said...

It's definitely the quintessential Nora Aunor film.

Phoenix said...

@ mink: it's worth getting your own copy... if you can find one ; )

@josh: in Gamu-gamo she was also good, but in Himala she was subtle.. no histrionics here..

@Misterhubs: True!

Richard Lionheart said...

Hehe...

One of th best films...

Wala pa ring kapantay si Nora.

Exlink kuya?
http://adventuresofalionheart.blogspot.com

Phoenix said...

@ richard lionheart: Done = )

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