Insang Salaysay ng Karahasang Pilipino


a film by Lav Diaz
A Tale of Filipino Violence

2022, 412 minutes, The Philippines, 1.78, Black & White, 5.1 Sound, in Tagalog with English subtitles

Sales/Festivals: Diversion (Thailand)

A Tale of Filipino Violence


With the imminent death of his autocratic grandfather, coinciding with the burgeoning oppressive regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Servando Monzon VI, inheritor of the hacienda and businesses of his powerful clan, agonizes on becoming the new feudal lord and capitulating with Marcos’ designs to control the Philippines. He is aware of his clan’s long history of violence; he knows the very violent history of his county; and he foresees a very violent future with the Marcos dictatorship.

A Tale of Filipino Violence

Director's Statement (excerpt)

This is a film made for television, or I 'construct' a film from a commissioned television series; my first. I accepted the challenge because it was an adaptation of my favorite Filipino short story, Servando Magdamag, a classic of Philippine literature, and written by Ricardo Lee, the venerable giant of Filipino scriptwriting. It was a chance to crack on an impregnable work. Nobody ever dared to adapt the piece; that's how fortified the nature of the work is. My version will surely run the risk of being seen as sacrilege.

The short story is a deep treatise on the agrarian issues and feudal setup of Filipino society. My adaptation, while being true to its vision, discoursed further on the issue of trauma and fractures on the psyche as caused by interminable violence (in all its forms).

A Tale of Filipino Violence

About the Director:

Lavrente Indico Diaz aka Lav Diaz is a filmmaker from the Philippines who works as director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer, poet, composer, production designer and actor all at once. He is especially notable for the length of his films, some of which run for up to eleven hours. That is because his films are not governed by time but by space and nature. His films are about the social and political struggles of his motherland and through these, he has garnered the admiration of the international festival circuit.

Since 1998 he has directed twelve films, and won several international awards. His 2002 film Batang West Side won Best Picture at the Singapore International Film Festival, plus awards at the Independent Film Festival of Brussels, Gawad Urian, and Cinemanila International Film Festival. He also received a Gawad Urian for his 2005 film Evolution of a Filipino Family and Special Jury Prize at the Fribourg International Film Festival in 2006 for Heremias, Book One. His film Death in the Land of Encantos, was the closing film of the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival 2007, and was awarded a Golden Lion Special Mention. His 2008 eight-hour film Melancholia, a story about victims of summary executions, won the Orizzonti Grand
Prize at the 65th Venice International Film Festival in 2008, and Florentina Hubaldo, CTE has received Best Film at Images Festival, Toronto and Jeonju International Film Festival in 2012. In 2010 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2011 joined the Board of Directors for Cine Foundation International. The Venice Film Festival calls him “the ideological father of the New Philippine Cinema”.

In 2013, his film Norte, The End of History is presented at Un Certain regard Cannes Film Festival and considered as “one of the most beautiful film seen in Cannes” (Jacques Mandelbaum, Le Monde) or even “quite possibly the best film there” (Daniel Kasman, Mubi), a “superb piece of focused narrative” (Jonathan Romney, Screen) – a broadened international recognition that earns him to be invited at FID Marseille to be part of the Official Competition Jury and eventually at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival as the President of the Jury. His film “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon” (From What is Before) won the Golden Leopard in Locarno Film Festival. The following year, his eight-hour film “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis” (A Lullaby to the
Sorrowful Mystery
) won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize in Berlin International Film Festival and “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (The Woman Who Left) bagged the Golden Lion Prize in the Venice International Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the world.



  • FIDMarseille, International Competition



A Tale of Filipino Violence Poster

Press kit

Press Kit

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"Diaz continues to build on his forest background imagery that portrays Philippines’ land as first of all, nature. But in Filipino Violence, Diaz experimented with new blocking techniques to enhance his storytelling. For instance, usage of symmetry focusing on the center point became apparent in an early scene of brick building, and a confession monologue between Bandong and his elders felt arresting in Diaz’s black and white photography. With Diaz’s vision for storytelling, both the text and image, A Tale of Filipino Vision breaks down the Filipino family as a result of its history."
- Michael Granados

"Meanwhile there’s this film (A Tale of Filipino Violence), whose existence is as hopeful a sign as any (despite its pessimism) that Philippine cinema is ready and willing to rise to the challenge, take on this son of a former dictator the way it took on (simultaneously and most powerfully in Diaz’s Panahon ng Halimaw) the dictator just departed. Best of the year, perhaps best of several years."
- Noel Vera


2022 FIDMarseille

Director/ Editor

Lav Diaz


Ricky Lee
Lav Diaz


Daniel Uy
Lav Diaz


John Lloyd Cruz
Bart Guingona
Agot Ididro
Hazel Orencio
Noel Miralles
Noel Sto. Domingo


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