Thursday, September 20, 2012


By Tito Genova Valiente

THOSE who love Nora Aunor’s art are speaking in tongues now. It is Babel in Nora fandom as fans scramble to translate the words of European film critics from Italian, Spanish, French, and German, all praising the actor’s performance and the film where that magic occurred, Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb(Sinapupunan in Pilipino).
Called the “wild card,” the film has driven critics wild. Film readers talk of the sea, the water as metaphor in a film that is about infertility and love. The vast expanse of the sea in that part of Mindanao is glorified as a setting for a tale that is a wondrously political commentary in the guise of a folk tale about devotion and sacrifice.  People in Europe are suddenly aware of the southern Philippine territories. It is a gripping coincidence that Mendoza’s other film, Captive, which is also about the South but this time about kidnapping, is having commercial theatrical run. Venice talks of Sitangkai and Tawi-tawi as geographical points validated by the romance of Mendoza’s imagination.
It is perhaps odd to call Nora Aunor the “wild card” of an actor but if we are going to reckon the outpouring of grand reviews and tremblingly passionate and positive words defining the greatness of the performance of Nora from the oldest film festival in the world, then we might as well call Aunor the wild actor. Wild in the sense of untamed, ferocious, fierce.
Revel in those photographs: Nora standing under the glare of the Venetian sun, not shy but commanding, her arms extended sometime away from her lithe body, as if about to fly or to make a gesture. Study the series of photographs where she looks around, poses alone, and then stretching her arms to pull in Mendoza. This is a terrific study in presence, which is what Nora Aunor is all about.
Critics did not miss this presence. You might as well call Nora a prescience, a foreboding. In her performances, Nora always suggests that somewhere in the delivery, in the movement, in the heaving of the chest, her character is going into a tremor, an explosion, a breakdown. And yet, nothing uncontrollable takes place in any of the characterization of Nora’s. No catharsis is rewarded to us. What we get is a suspension not of disbelief but of belief. Are we going to take in what she is offering, or are we ready to repudiate her.
It is a brave actor who opens the possibility for all interpretations. In Nora’s universe of characters, we are always free to love her or leave her. We may share in her sufferings or her joys but in the end, Nora allows us options of pains and privileges. That moment in Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, where she raises her child over a ravine, will infinitely be arrested at that point between dementia and destiny, between salvation and condemnation. Will the child be killed or saved? Well, that is not the point of that scene. The events that happened after and before have condemned this mother. Before we can even think of forgiving her, the women of the town have bonded already as a conscience. But that does not banish the feeling that we may understand and forgive this woman. Nora’s performance creates all the gray areas. Onscreen, she is eternally possible and probable.
I always think a good performance is when an actor finishes his or her walk from a starting point to the area where the scene wraps up a tension or solves a problem. But I think an excellent performance happens when the actor enables us to participate in his or her ambivalence, not because he or she cannot decide, but because films and the performances in them are not about decisions. You want decisions, then do not look for them in the theater. Go to boring boardrooms where decisions are a must.
Films and the great actors that relate their narratives are about the splendor of human thoughts and the mysterious beating of the heart that we assume will always be human. We love it when actors act on events and crisis but, at home, we review the fast and quick decisions and realize they are not real.
In Bona, relive that scene where the camera looks at the face and then scans the boiling water. The perfection of that scene is not in the water being poured over the hapless bit player played Phillip Salvador but in the turbulence and dark happiness and fear registering over that face of Nora now transformed into a map of intentions where there are no obvious exits and entrances. We wish that she takes longer to throw that hot liquid because we know the enchantment of anger and reprisal is short. Bona in Nora Aunor’s tremendous genius is about women and what they can do, and that status is eternally embedded in the woman. Nora knows that and, like a maga, conjures magic after magic because to be too real is to be downright dull. Again, if you want plain realism, then go and look for it in basketball courts and even in supreme courts.
Again, I now see one main reason  Nora Aunor as an actor always moves me: All her characters are imperfect and lovingly so. The characters she has played will not be found in some gallery of heroes but in alleys and ordinary streets and small homes where brothers who are killed by stray bullets will teach us about nationalism but also about self-absorbing private interests. You want to learn about yourself and good manners, do not consult the oracle of Nora Aunor. You want to learn about the tension of your identities and the conflicts in your motivations, then Nora’s filmic essays are veritable treasure chests of who we are as faithless people and who we are as faithful lovers and what we are in the webs of fate and faith.
In Himala, which was screened also in Venice under Restored Classics (of course, for the fans, they will now say “Classici’), Nora’s visionary is not a saint per se but she could create a mob that will canonize her. In that naivete, in that innocence and, once more, in the potentiality of ideological manipulation, are the lessons about human frailties as well as strengths. Strangely, from a film that denies apparitions comes ultimately the possibility of redemption. And yet it is not an easy lesson. The culprit and the trickster is Nora Aunor, the reluctant saint but also the person not ready to explore and exploit the merchandize of religion. You are looking for a brave proposition? This is it, the person of Elsa.
Back in Venice, critics were not merely appraising Nora Aunor in Thy Womb; the critics were always referring to her as the great actress with a long, sterling career back in her country. I like this approach: Nora, for all her greatness, stands on the shoulders of the greats who were there before her—in Venice, in Berlin, in Cannes. In the same token, we should thank Mendoza and Aunor for when the next entry from the Philippines appears once more in Venice, everyone will remember that balmy day when this petite, unassuming actor from an island called the Philippines asked the jury to look her way.
The critics looked. One of the words that came out of one critic was “immensa,” which sent all her fans scrambling for Italian-English dictionaries and surfing the Internet for online translations. Nora Aunor is a great, an immensely powerful actor, the critics said. The fans, of course, have known that all along.
Fresh from her triumph in Venice, Nora Aunor appears in TV5’s Untold Stories, 8:30 pm, after Artista Academy, co-starring Yul Servo in the episode titled Sr. Thelma Layug Story. On Sunday she stars opposite Lorna Tolentino in an episode of TV5’s Third Eye, airing at 9:30 pm, after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

In Photo: European critics have called Nora Aunor, in Venice for Thy Womb, an immensely powerful actor. Her fans have known that all along. Here, Nora holds the Bisato d’Oro honor she was bestowed by European film critics.

Nora Aunor and the Mater Dolorosa: Revisiting and Befriending Sorrow in Our Lives

By Fr. Roberto P. Reyes
Philippine Online Chronicles
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:00 / FLOW, THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ALONG THE WAY


“And you own heart will be pierced by a sword.”
The prophet Simeon to Mary
Last Saturday, September 15, would have been my father Carlos’ 89th birthday. It was also the feast of The Lady of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa) which made me revisit sorrow in my life and that of those close to me. I remember my late father Carlos who, perhaps of upbringing, hardly shed a tear, except for two distinct occasions. When I was a little boy of about five , we were at home when a close family friend arrived to inform my father of a tragedy. His brother, my favorite uncle Alfonso, who had just passed the CPA bexam two days earlier, went for a swim with his friends to celebrate. He drowned. My father, unable to contain his shock and grief goes to the door and bangs his head so hard that it felt like the whole house shook. The second was almost eight years ago, around 10:00 p.m. o. November 30, 2004. I knew then that my brother Vincent was dying. I told my mother and father to approach him and say goodbye. My mother simply approached my brother and tells him, “Paalam anak, I love you.” When it was my father’s turn, before he could utter any word he already broke down and then still in pained disbelief tells my brother, “Anak, God bless you. Goodbye anak.” The tone of his voice was an ambivalent mix of protest and resignation. Sometime April that year, my father gripped by quiet pain asked me, “Why does it happen that a son would go before his father? “
A few days ago, I read a newspaper article entitled Nora Aunor, “Big Time Comeback Queen.” (cf Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 13, 2012) It was about Nora’s recent victories at the Venice Indie Film Festival where she won the Bisato D’Oro award for her performance in Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb.” I was happy for Nora who aside from this latest victory, impressed me with a recurrent theme of her life, pain. When asked about her reaction to the theme of Thy Womb her answer was, “I have also given up my own happiness for the person I love. That has happened at least thrice in my life.”
The article did not appear to me as just another curiosity among many others for that day. Nora Aunor was no longer a stranger to me as circumstances changed that last year after I criticized her appearance with a cigarette stick between her fingers on the front page of a glossy magazine. When my criticism came out in the papers, one of Nora’s assistants calls me and informs me that Nora wanted to talk to me and personally give me her side. I agreed and later that day, I met Nora at a restaurant in Tomas Morato.
Our meeting was short and most cordial. No wonder Nora has endeared herself to the masses. In spite of her fame, there was no air about her. She was simple and soft spoken. She was not defensive. In spite of the barbs she received from the Philippine Medical Association, she was even open to help them in their campaign against cigarettes.
After that meeting, I saw a different Nora. I saw a person in search for something deeper, something more. The article’s title, “BiG Time Comeback Queen” is rather deceiving. While Nora does need to improve many things in her life, I don’t think she is only looking at her financial situation. In the article, when advised by her friends to focus on her work more than her heart, Nora’s response has been, “My life would have been more peaceful had I not loved too much.” Looking at Mary at the foot of her son’s cross, I wonder if she would have said something different from Nora. Would  Mary have chosen to love less in order to have more peace? Mary, Mater Dolorosa, the mother martyr, witness to the suffering of her son chose to love in a way that other mothers would have, totally and unconditionally. She would have loved uncomplainingly in spite of the profound emotional and existential crucifixion she endured by standing by (Stabat) the cross of her Son Jesus, watching and experiencing in her heart her Son’s anguish and suffering. As she stood and watched her crucified son, she too experienced crucifixion.
This is probably Nora’s gift both as an actress and person, the cross and its many recurrence in her life up to now. In that short meeting, I began to see the many setbacks that Nora experienced in a new and different light. I began to understand and appreciate how Nora has become some kind of an archetype of the typical Filipina woman for whom life is weighed down by endless struggle finding comfort in a loving, yet rather unpredictable God. I sense that Nora is not that moved by the title “Come Back Queen” for she knows what it is to hit rock bottom. Now that she enjoys success, it is with a seasoned joy, fuller, deeper and freer.
When asked to whom or what she attributes this recent victory, her simple answer was, “Only the Man upstairs knows the answer.” That “Man upstairs” has a mother who aside from standing at foot of the cross stands by those who have also found their cross. Surely, with a little prodding, Nora would have added, “That Brave and Extraordinary woman, who has always been an inspiration to my own mother…that woman is not up there but here deep in my own heart.”

Monday, September 10, 2012


September 10, 2012


Everywhere she went in Lido, Filipino actress Nora Aunor was greeted by admirers—clapping, cheering and congratulating her for “Thy Womb” (Sinapupunan), which won three honors at the 69th Venice International Film Festival over the weekend.

Aunor, considered a superstar in the Philippines, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in Filipino: “The Italians kept saying: ‘Bellissima! Bravissima!’”

Her latest starrer, Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb” won three awards in Venice: Bisato D’Oro, La Navicella or Venezia Cinema prize and the P. Nazareno Taddei Award Special Mention.

Aunor attended the Venice fest with Mendoza and costars Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral.

Producer Larry Castillo said the critics adored Aunor who won the Bisato D’Oro prize for her performance. Castillo told the Inquirer that Aunor’s award was given by Premio della Critica Indipendiente, an independent critics’ group.

Previous recipients of the award were directors and producers. Aunor is the first actress and Filipino to win the prize.

Aunor recalled that the Bisato D’Oro ceremony was held on Friday at Bar Maleti, a restaurant near her hotel.

The Philippine contingent stayed at the Hotel Excelsior Venezia in Lido, Venice.

“I am happy that our film was invited to Venice. It’s a great honor just to be included in this year’s lineup. To win an award is a wonderful bonus,” Aunor said of her award.

She said the critics were touched by the film. “They told me that they cried, especially toward the ending. They said they were moved by the emotions I showed in the movie.”

La Navicella award

On Saturday morning, Mendoza received La Navicella/Venezia Cinema prize—one of the collateral awards handed out before the fest’s major honors.

According to the Venice website, the award is given by critics and the Rivisita del Cinematografo, an Italian publication. “La Navicella is awarded to the director of a film considered particularly relevant for the affirmation of human values,” an online report said.

A previous winner of the La Navicella award was Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” which went on to win an Oscar in 2010. Other past winners of the prize included such heavyweights in world cinema as Louis Malle, Zhang Yimou, Stephen Frears and Abel Ferrara.
The Navicella jury commended the Filipino film “for giving voice to the Badjao community in a respectful and emotionally involved manner.”

In the film, Aunor portrays a barren Badjao midwife searching for a suitable woman (Poe) who can bear a child for her husband (Bembol Roco).

Taddei award

In the citation, the Navicella jury praised the film: “Although … ethnographic, the film goes beyond naturalism and turns into poetry. Mendoza brings to the screen an act of total love which stands out today as true scandal against frivolous provocation.”

During the closing ceremony on Saturday night, Mendoza won the P. Nazareno Taddei Award Special Mention.

The P. Nazareno Taddei Award went to Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk’s “Pieta,” which won the Golden Lion as well.

Established in 2007, the P. Nazareno Taddei Award was named after a Jesuit priest. It is given to films that “express authentic human values.”

The Hollywood Reporter critic Neil Young considered Aunor one of the front-runners for the best actress award, which went to Israel’s Hadas Yaron of “Fill the Void.”

Although it failed to bring home major awards, “Thy Womb” received a rousing ovation after its premiere on Thursday and was showered with glowing notices by critics.

Mendoza, who won best director in Cannes for the graphic crime drama “Kinatay” in 2009, said his goal in making “Thy Womb” was to tell a story of “unconditional love set in a beautiful but troubled place.”

Variety review

Mainstream publication Variety gave the film a positive review, praising the cinematography (by Odyssey Flores), acting (by Aunor) and production design (by Mendoza).

Variety’s Guy Lodge said “Aunor’s softly crinkled face beautifully registers the internal pain of her every decision in this curious process.” Lodge said the cinematography “negotiates picture-postcard skies and grubby boltholes with equal fluidity” and the production design “forges the unusual story with just the right balance of the exotic and the authentic.”

Variety described the film as “part marital tearjerker, part cultural comedy of manners … open-hearted … sentimental.”

Variety pointed out that “Thy Womb” had more in common with Mendoza’s Venice entry in 2009, “Lola,” than the “propulsive” “Captive,” which was the “hard-working Filipino provocateur’s” entry at the Berlin fest earlier this year.
CineVue’s Jo-Ann Titmarsh called the film “one of the most poignant and intimate films at this year’s Venice fest … a moving and visually captivating movie with two commanding yet understated central performances.”

“Thy Womb” also has screenings in the Toronto International Film Festival this month (on September 7, 9 and 16).

On the fest’s website, Toronto programmer Steve Gravestock raved about Aunor’s “moving portrayal of a woman determined to provide her husband with a child.” He also pointed out that Roco was “equally good as her stoic husband.”

Gravestock noted that Mendoza’s direction possessed an “unfailingly keen eye for detail and attention to the rhythms of rural life.”


Contributor:  Alvin Umahon

Sunday, September 9, 2012



DESPITE not being honored with any award when the 69th Venice International Film Festival main competition jury handed out the plums over the weekend, the Philippine delegation that represented the entry Thy Womb has every reason to stand tall and proud.
The legendary actor Nora Aunor, who impressed many international critics, bloggers and film aficionados in Venice for her stirring portrayal of an impotent Badjao midwife in the Brillante Mendoza film, told us that the “experience itself is priceless.”
“I will never forget Venice. I am thankful that Brillante chose me to be part of this film. I am proud of this film. I am proud to be a Filipino,” she told us in English. The jury, led by American film director Michael Mann, and composed of actress Samantha Morton, artist Marina Abramovic and respectable filmmakers Matteo Garrone and Pablo Trapero, awarded the festival’s most coveted plum, the Golden Lion or Best Film, to South Korea’s very dark drama Pieta, directed by Kim Ki-Duk. The film bested 17 other movies from around the world that made it into the main competition short list.
As expected, Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman shared the best actor prize for their brilliant work in The Masters.Reports have it that a few hours before the awards ceremony, the jury members were set to give both the film and directing awards to Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master but new rules from the festival prevent a competing film from winning more than two awards. So they gave the best film award to South Korea’s Pieta instead.
French filmmaker Olivier Assayas took home the best screenplay plum for Something in the Air, while Israel’s Hadas Yaron won the best actress plum, perhaps the most eagerly awaited category among the throngs of supporters of Nora Aunor.  We chatted with a journalist friend from Spain who was in Venice to cover the world’s oldest film festival, and she wrote that Nora’s star shone brightly in the few days she was in Venice. “Your lead actress stood tall, from the time she walked the red carpet to her entrance at the awards ceremonies. She might look short and fragile at first glance, but she was riveting in the Mendoza film and she certainly turned lots of heads in Venezia.”
From the day Nora Aunor walked the red carpet with Mendoza, actors Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral, producers Larry Castillo and Melvin Mangada, social-networking sites have been teeming with reports of how impressed the foreign critics were and how much Nora was loved by the media covering the event. We can imagine how huge a disappointment it must be that Nora did not get the jury’s nod for the lead actress plum but I guess Filipinos will have to be realistic and accept the truth.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Nora Aunor may not have walked away with Venice’s Volpi Cup, but she was the top choice of a jury of independent film critics outside of the film festival. The Premio Della Critica Indipendiente honored her with the Bisato d’Oro Award for Best Actress for her work in Thy Womb. She is the first and only Filipino to win the plum from the Venetian film critics group.)
Next stop for Thy Womb will be at the Toronto International Film Festival but Nora Aunor will not be part of the delegation there.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Nora Aunor bags int'l critic's award at the 69th Venice film fest

GMA NEWS September 8, 2012 11:13am


Superstar Nora Aunor bagged a coveted critic’s award Friday for her performance in Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb." The prize was awarded a day before the end of the 69th Venice International Film Festival.

Aunor, whose other critically-acclaimed starer "Himala" is also being exhibited in the festival under the “Venice Classics” category, won the Bisato d’Oro Award from the Premio Della Critica Indipendiente, an independent film critics’ group in Italy. Bisato d’Oro translates to Golden Eel in English.

The Premio Della Critica Indipendiente is not affiliated with the Venice film festival’s award giving body, but Aunor’s recognition is seen as a vote of confidence, and bolstered the Pinay actress’ chance at bagging the Volpi Cup, the Venice film fest’s best actress prize at the awarding rites on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

In “Thy Womb” (Filipino title: Sinapupunan), Aunor portrayed the role of a barren Badjao midwife who puts a nubile young woman in her husband’s bed. The film by award winning director Brillante Mendoza was lauded by foreign critics, and is in the running for the Il Leone d’Oro, or the Golden Bear, the highest prize to be awarded in the festival.

Along with director Brillante Mendoza, Aunor was joined in Venice by castmates Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral.

Poe posted a picture on her twitter account 
congratulating the Superstar for winning the award. Poe's gown was also voted 'most beautiful' in the festival. All four received a five-minute standing ovation after the red carpet premiere of the film. — LBG, GMA News

Friday, September 7, 2012



La recensione: Thy Womb


Regna una strana armonia nella comunità Bajau, nativa del sud delle Filippine, i cosiddetti “zingari del mare”, costruttori di palafitte, tessitori di tappeti e di reti, pescatori, cercatori di perle. Un’armonia che si riflette anche nalla vita di Shaleha, levatrice impossibilitata ad avere figli e di suo marito Bangas.
“Farei tutto per rendere felice mio marito” dice Shaleila alla famiglia ammirata della futura seconda moglie di lui, giovane, bella, in  grado di procreare, cercata lungo tutta la durata del film, mentre la macchina da presa di Brillante Mendoza indaga l’universo sparpagliato tra isole, chiese e moschee, riprende colorati mercati e matrimoni, con i festeggiamenti che includono anche il sacrificio di un bufalo che fa scappare dalla sala i cinefli più sensibili. Dove la violenza del mondo fa periodica irruzione con incursioni di pirati, scorribande dell’esercito, colpi d’arma da fuoco fuori scena. Un film che si apre e si chiude all’insegna della vita, con un parto: “il ventre tuo” è il poetico titolo.
Una candidatura certa al Leone e, per la straordinaria attrice Nora Aunor, alla coppa Volpi.


Venice Film Festival 2012: 'Thy Womb' review

By Jo-Ann Titmarsh



Philippine national treasure Brillante Mendoza has directed one of the most poignant and intimate films in competition at this year's 69th Venice Film Festival. Thy Womb (Sinapupunan, 2012) tells the story of a midwife, Shaleha (Nora Aunor), who cannot have children. The film follows her and her husband Bangas An (Bembol Rocco) on their search for a second wife to provide them with the family they crave.

Set in the seaweed-producing island province of Tawi-Tawi, Thy Womb juxtaposes the great poverty of its inhabitants, many of whom live in shacks perching perilously on stilts above the sea, with the breathtakingly beautiful seascape. The poverty of the island dwellers is also countered by their immense capacity for generosity. Lavish wedding celebrations are organised, money is readily given or lent and hospitality is part of the culture.

This is not to say that Mendoza paints an idyllic picture of these people. Pirates steal boats and belongings, whilst soldiers and gunfire are so ubiquitous as to be humdrum. When Shaleha is knocked down by a group of soldiers in the market, she doesn't even think to mention it to her husband. Yet Mendoza chooses not to dwell on the political and social aspects of the Philippines.

There is no need for hyperbole when the poverty and potential for violence is so apparent. Instead, the director focuses on the relationship between husband and wife. Other than being childless, Shaleha and Bangas An seem to have the perfect marriage: love, respect, humour and mutual understanding. Yet this lack of a child is viewed as a lack of divine grace and they need a child to make their marriage whole. Thus begins the quest from island to island, down the Indonesian archipelago.

Eventually, they find a suitable girl at a decent price and the couple are relieved and happy. But there's a catch: the girl wants Shaleha out of the picture once the first child is born. Bangas An is left with a choice: the child he so desperately craves versus the woman he has created a life with. Thy Womb is a moving and visually captivating movie with two commanding yet understated central performances. Mendoza's film deserves an accolade at Venezia 69.


Nora Aunor

By William R. Reyes
Philippine Entertainment Portal
Friday, September 07, 2012 @ 07:30AM


Encouraging para sa mga tagasubaybay ng pelikulang Pilipino ang mga unang pag-uulat tungkol sa mga kaganapan sa Venice, Italy, kaugnay ng pelikulang Sinapupunan (Thy Womb).

Kasalukuyang itinatanghal ang Filipino film na ito bilang Main Competition entry sa 69th Venice International Film Festival (VIFF).

Kahapon, September 6, at 4:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. Manila time), ginanap ang official screening at gala night ng Thy Womb.

Pinagbibidahan ito ng Superstar na si Nora Aunor at idinirek ng Cannes 2009 best director-awardee na si Brillante "Dante" Mendoza.

Nasa Venice, Italy sina Direk Brillante at Nora bilang bahagi ng Philippine delegation sa nasabing international filmfest; kasama nila ang dalawa pang aktres ng Thy Womb na sina Mercedes Cabral at Lovi Poe.

Kahapon, September 6, ay nakausap sa telepono ng (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Direk Brillante.

Ayon sa premyadong direktor, naging maganda at masaya ang pagtanggap sa kanila ng maraming Pilipino na nasa Venice.

"As usual, pinagkaguluhan nila si Ate Guy!" natutuwang sabi ni Direk Brillante.

Ika-sampu ng umaga pa lang sa Venice (4 p.m., Manila time).

Nasa hotel room sina Direk Dante, Boy Palma (Nora's personal manager), at si Ate Guy na "nagpapa-make up pa” dahil maya-maya raw ay gaganapin na ang ang gala screening. Naghahanda na rin daw sila noon para sa press conference.

Sa Hotel Excelsior naka-billet sina Nora at Direk Brillante.

"This is one of the oldest establishments in the world," banggit pa ng direktor tungkol sa hotel na tinutuluyan.

Mula sa hotel, napaulat din na ang delegasyon were driven in Lancia limousines to the presscon venue, in a separate function room, kung saan din gaganapin ang official screening ng Thy Womb sa Sala Grande (Cinema Hall).

STANDING OVATION. By midnight of September 6, agad ding nakarating sa PEP ang magandang balita ng pagkakaroon ng standing ovation ng mga nanood matapos ang gala screening ng Thy Womb.

Abut-abot daw ang pagbati ng mga tagasubaybay nina Nora, Direk Brillante, at iba pang kabilang sa Thy Womb, sa panimulang tagumpay na natamo ng pelikula.

Bungad na pagbati ng Noranians Worldwide (NOW), isang malaganap na fanpage sa Facebook:

"Thy Womb gets standing ovation at Venezia 69 premiere! Congratulations Brillante Ma Mendoza, Nora Aunor and the whole Thy Womb delegation!"
Agad ding nagpadala ng text message sa PEP ang line producer ng Thy Womb na si Larry Castillo.
"There was a five-minute standing ovation until the entire Philippine delegates left the cinema. Grabe! Overwhelming response!" tuwang-tuwang pagbabalita ni Larry.
Samantala, patuloy ang pagpu-post ng mga tagahanga ng Superstar at ni Direk Brillante ng magagandang initial feedback mula sa mga manonood at kritikong nasa Venice ngayon at nakikibahagi sa ginaganap na Venice International Film Festival.
NORA'S "EXCITING PERFORMANCE!” Earlier, at around 9 a.m. (3 p.m. Manila time) and 11:30 a.m. (5:30 p.m., Manila time), nagkaroon ng unang dalawang screening ang Thy Womb, sa Sala Darsena at Sala Perla, respectively.
Dinaluhan ito ng mga miyembro ng media at taga-industriya sa Italy.
May naunang screenings ang pelikula para sa media representatives at foreign critics na dumalo sa presscon, and one of them was quoted as saying: "Nora Aunor delivers an exciting performance..."
Bahagi ito ng isa sa mga unang rave reviews ng Thy Womb, as written in Italian at isinalin sa Ingles, at nai-post sa Noranians Worldwide (NOW) site, which partly stated: 
"Competing for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Brillante Mendoza continues with his radical and uncompromising film to shine authorship of the film industry in the Philippines... Thy Womb reveals a deep film like few others seen in Venice 69..."
Tungkol naman kay Nora, sabi sa review: "In the role of Shaleha, the star of Philippine cinema, delivers an exciting performance!... Mendoza can not resist, and rightly so, the temptation to look closely to Nora Aunor..."
Ilang masusugid ding Noranians sa iba't ibang sites at fanpage na nasa Facebook ang tumutok sa kaganapan, posting comments and photos.
Kabilang dito ang sinabi ng isa sa mga foreign co-producers ng Thy Womb sa the Italian press members na "Nora Aunor is a national treasure!"
Samantala, may nagkakaisa ring impression among early viewers of the film, which stated that Brillante Mendoza's Thy Womb is a "magnifica storia d'amore" or magnificent love story.
Mayroon ding avid Noranians, tulad nina Wilfredo Pascual at Art Barbadillo ng Noranians Worldwide fansite, na nakapanood ng live streaming ng Thy Womb presscon sa pamamagitan ng, at around 7 p.m. (Manila time).
Proud siyempre sila with the way Nora delivered during the presscon proper.
May interpreter si Nora sa presscon, at translated from Italian to English ang tala ng napag-usapan sa presscon.
"She was asked to compare Himala and Thy Womb," ayon sa mga nakapanood at nakinig sa live streaming.
May naunang screening ang 30-year-old classic film na Himala ng National Artist Ishmael Bernal. Nag-world premiere ang obra, na tinampukan din ni Nora sa papel na Elsa, isang faith healer, sa restored HD version nito bilang isa sa mga entries sa Venizia Classici (section for restored world classic films).
Sabi pa sa post: "Nora responded that both films required quiet performances, ultimately challenging, and that she relied on the support of the film director/s.
"The lack of a script during shootings, or on the set, actually helped her."
Bagamat hindi rin mapapasubaliang mayroong well-written working scripts ang parehong obra. Ricky Lee wrote Himala; Thy Womb's screenplay is by Henry Burgos, na kasama rin sa delegasyon sa Venive.
DIREK BRILLANTE'S COMMENTS. Meanwhile, may mga pahayag si Direk Brillante, as told to the Associated Foreign Press (AFP), tungkol sa naging layunin ng direktor sa paglikha ng pelikulang Thy Womb.
Ayon sa AFP: "Filipino director Brillante Mendoza wanted to show a different side of the Muslim communities in a conflict-wracked part of the Philippines."
Kinunan ang kabuuan ng Thy Womb sa mga bayan ng Bongao at Sitangkai, sa isla ng Tawi-Tawi, sa southernmost part of the Philippines.
"The misinterpretation is that it's a very violent place, very aggressive and very dangerous, but it's not."
Of Tawi-Tawi island, Brillante told the foreign media, "I was surprised when I arrived. It's really different from what we thought.
"The people there are not aggressive, they're very calm; not confrontational and they have an amazing culture!
"It was a discovery for me and I thought I should share this.
"I realized that film is such a very powerful medium... and for me, this is a very rare opportunity to change the mindset of people, to change society."