CinemaOne Originals and Sine Olivia Pilipinas, distributed by Star Cinema, bring to mainstream cinemas the film that brought the country great pride and massive worldwide recognition – Lav Diaz’ latest masterpiece, Ang Babeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left), which bagged the highly coveted and prestigious Golden Lion Award in the recently concluded 73rd Venice Film Festival.
Ang Babaeng Humayo marks the historic, first ever big screen collaboration of filmmaker Lav Diaz with internationally acclaimed actress Charo Santos-Concio; as well as his much awaited reunion with actor John Lloyd Cruz whom he worked with early this year in the epic historical film Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis which was the toast of the Berlinale Film Festival.
Ang Babaeng Humayo is centered on the story of Horacia (Santos), a former schoolteacher who is released from prison after spending three decades in a rural correctional facility for a murder she didn’t commit. Horacia returns to her ancestral home only to discover shocking events that happened to her family. Horacia’s mild, maternal veneer is shattered as she deliberately plots the ultimate revenge against man who framed her. In the process, she develops a close friendship with an epileptic drag artist Hollanda (Cruz) – a turning point in the film’s haunting narrative that brings the story to its deadly and chilling conclusion.
Critics all over the world are raving about the unmistakable brilliance of Diaz as one of today’s greatest contemporary Filipino filmmakers, as well as the bravura of Santos’ and Cruz’ performance in this film that mirrors the horrors of social injustice in Philippines.
Cinema Scope proclaimed Ang Babaeng Humayo as one of Diaz’ best films that sits rightfully in his growing and magnificent body of work. Film Critic Guy Lodge profusely praised the film, stating: “Weighing in at 228 minutes, a restrained runtime by the Filipino director’s standards, The Woman Who Left is more contained than much of his work: its personal and political concerns converge powerfully in a story of one woman.” Screen Daily pronounced Diaz’ narrative strategy as “tantalizing, often frustrating” while the critics of Rotten Tomatoes are in unison in celebrating the artistry of Diaz and his brilliant cast.
Diaz reveals that film was inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s short story God Sees The Truth But Waits, “I remember that what really struck me when I read it [God Sees The Truth But Waits] was that neither of us really understands life. We don’t really know. This is one of the most essential truths of existence. Or, some of us can at least feel a continuum, that things that we do can be consequential. And more often, we abide and succumb to life’s randomness.”
Essentially, Ang Babaeng Humayo is a story of a woman’s journey to redemption, revenge, and vindication – and at the center of it all is the character that Santos breathed life into with such tenacity and perfection.
It should be noted that this is Santos’ grand movie comeback as she was last seen in the silver screen 17 years ago, in 1999, when she starred in the blockbuster movie adaptation of the top-rating ABS-CBN drama series Esperanza. Formerly the President and CEO of ABS-CBN, and now Chief Content Officer, Charo Santos-Concio created history as one of the first Filipino actresses who brought critical acclaim to the Philippine movie industry when she won as Best Actress in the 1977 Asian Film Festival for her superb portrayal in Mike de Leon’s cinematic masterpiece Itim.
Both Filipino fans and critics alike are also in for an unforgettable treat as they will witness what is probably John Lloyd Cruz’ best performance to date – a total deviation from the previous roles he portrayed in his blockbuster hits.
Follow Horacia in her journey and discover where she is headed and see for yourself if justice will truly be served in this riveting film that gave the triumvirate of Diaz, Cruz, and Santos what is said to be one of the longest standing ovations in the history of the Venice Film Festival.
Ang Babeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) also stars an amazing supporting cast that consists of a sampling of the most talented and accomplished Filipino actors such as Michael de Mesa, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Nonie Buencamino, Marj Lorico, Mayen Estanero, Romelyn Sale, Julius Empredo, Lao Rodriguez, Jean Judith Javier, Mae Paner, Kakai Bautista, Jo-Ann Requiestas, Prescy Orencio, and Kyla Domingo.
Celebrate the world-class artistry of the Filipino artist and watch “Ang Babeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left),” which hits cinemas nationwide starting September 28 from Sine Olivia and Cinema One Originals, distributed by Star Cinema.