Historya Ni Ha
Lav Diaz’s sharp political fable testifies to the ongoing reality of exploitation, channelled through Ha, a ventriloquist’s puppet who embodies art’s redemptive potential.
John Lloyd Cruz, Mae Paner, Teroy Guzman
Philippines 2021. 275min
sine olivia pilipinas
With English subtitles
Successful ventriloquist Hernando returns home after several years away, with plans to marry his sweetheart and settle down. Heartbroken when things don’t go to plan, Hernando decides he will only communicate with the world through his puppet Ha. The pair accompany a nun, a sex worker and a teenage boy on their way to a remote island where gold has been discovered, a journey that holds fateful consequences. Whilst continuing to interrogate the issues of exploitation and injustice that have been persistent in many of his works, Diaz here also expounds on art and its power to transform. Can poetry and theatre truly act as antidotes to the cruelty of reality? In a film that’s immaculately scripted and superbly performed, Ha’s compelling monologues testify to this potential.
Hyun Jin Cho
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