Watch Century of Birthing
- 5 hr 59 min
Century of Birthing is a Filipino independent film directed and written by Lav Diaz, known for his lengthy and introspective films. The movie was released in 2011 and stars Perry Dizon, Angel Aquino, and Bart Guingona. The film examines the life of a filmmaker named Heremias as he struggles to make a film that reflects his personal philosophy and the essence of the human condition. The movie is a slow-burning drama that explores themes of art and creation, grief, and redemption. The narrative is fragmented and nonlinear, jumping between different periods in Heremias's life, his memories, and his dreams. The overall effect is hypnotizing and thought-provoking, drawing the viewer into a contemplative mood as they follow Heremias on his journey. At the beginning of the film, we see Heremias delivering a eulogy at a funeral. He speaks about the fleetingness of life and the importance of cherishing every moment. This sets the tone for the rest of the movie. As we follow Heremias through his creative and personal struggles, we see how he grapples with this fleetingness, how he seeks to capture something eternal and profound in his art. Heremias is a complex and tragic character, seeking to make his mark on the world with his films but always grappling with doubt and insecurity. He is haunted by memories of his father and his failed relationships. He is torn between his personal values and the commercial demands of the film industry. His struggle is a universal one, and the film's exploration of it feels both personal and philosophical. The film is shot in Diaz's signature style, using long takes and static shots to create a sense of stillness and introspection. The camera lingers on the characters' faces and the settings, emphasizing the emotional weight of the scenes. The lighting is subdued, with most of the film taking place in dimly-lit interiors or natural light. The overall effect is immersive and atmospheric, drawing the viewer into Heremias's world. The film's supporting cast is excellent. Angel Aquino plays Heremias's wife, who is dealing with her own emotional pain. Bart Guingona plays a struggling artist who becomes Heremias's friend and confidant. Their performances are understated yet powerful, adding depth and nuance to the film. One of the most striking aspects of the film is its use of music. Diaz often incorporates songs into his films, and Century of Birthing is no exception. The songs range from traditional Filipino folk songs to contemporary rock music, and they are used to underscore the emotional themes of the film. The music adds texture and depth to the film, elevating it beyond a simple character study. Overall, Century of Birthing is a thoughtful and immersive film that demands patience and attention from its viewers. Diaz's style may not be for everyone, but those who appreciate slow-burning dramas will find much to admire in this movie. It is an exploration of the human condition and the power of art to transcend the limitations of the physical world.