During a worldwide pandemic, the arts have been keeping people company, and several local films have been making it internationally in 2021 so far. Recently, Filipino director Lav Diaz’s History ni Ha (History of Ha) will hold its world premiere this year at the 65th BFI London Film Festival in the United Kingdom.
On the movie’s official Instagram page, the team officially announced its inclusion in the film festival. The caption explained that actor John Lloyd Cruz is taking the lead as Hernando Alamada, a Filipino vaudeville great and a former socialist cadre, who has a doll named Ha. He fulfills the last leg of his tour on the Mayflower cruise ship.
Set in 1957, Alamada sees the Philippines going through a transition; The “much-loved and popular” president Ramon Magsaysay suddenly dies in a plane crash. The ventriloquist arrives in his poverty-stricken barrio; His country’s state and future were burdening him heavily, and a deep personal turmoil confronts him.
‘He plods on an aimless journey,’ the plot read. ‘Akin to the Filipino ‘bodabil’, he finds himself on the gate of the theater of the absurd, a descent to burlesque, madness, to stark realities, and, ultimately, an ascent to his own redemption.’
The four hours and ten-minute long film was shot back in 2019 at Sibaltan, Palawan. It will feature other cast members namely Teroy Guzman, Mae P. Paner, Dolly de Leon, Jonathan Francisco, Hazel Orencio, Earl Ignacio, Jun Sabayton, Erwin Romulo and Allen Alzola.
History ni Ha is under the category ‘Dare,’ described as “in-your-face and arresting – stories that take you out of your comfort zone.” The London-based film festival will screen hundreds of films, documentaries, and shorts from around 50 countries. It will run from October 6 to 17.
Banner: (L) Instagram/sabaytones, (R)Instagram/historyofha