Thursday, October 20, 2016


By: Ronz Maceda

“Hinulid” is a visceral-cerebral-visual trifecta. Framed by ruminations on faith, science, lore and politics, it bleeds with a rare parental love that is more formidable than life and death combined.

(The film made me contemplate, smile, cry…and cry again.)

Kristian Cordero, only on his second outing as a filmmaker, deftly utilizes the poetic time mode to breathe pathos and philosophies into his complex, non-linear storytelling: a eulogy on a mother and child’s unbreakable bond that intersects a deconstruction of an old Bikol legend as a socio-political commentary. Or vice versa?

(As part-Bicolano myself--my late beloved father hailed from Daraga--I encourage Mr. Cordero to further his cinematic exploration of Bikol myths, local color and latter-day realities.)

Nora Aunor exhibits pain-- her rawest and most real to date--that is multiplied three times or more. And that sturdiest love of all, eloquently communicated by her facial and body language, is magnified many fold. Hearing the artist speak in her native Rinconada is akin to hearing her crooning live.

Commendable is Jess Mendoza for his affecting yet still unaffected performance. Memorable, too, are the Bicol-based actors: the old priest, the blind caretaker, the two young Lucases and the school administrator.

Clocking more than 150 minutes, “Hinulid” is rife with phantasmagoria, repetitive and hard to fathom at some point. Perhaps, it can stand some editing; add some trimming of the fat in the screenplay, without minimizing its scope and impact. Meanwhile, the music, special effects and cinematography are done well.

Some may quibble that “Hinulid” is a film that does not want or know how to end. But they ought to ask themselves: does a mother’s love and grief for her child, living or dead, ever end?

(PS. They say that "Hinulid" is a homecoming project for La Aunor. To our literati and film-literate Noranian kabsat overseas like Wilfredo, Mykeo and Jojo, this film is a homecoming for all of you as well.)

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