norteVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 5.00 (3 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Lav Diaz

Writer: Rody Vera

Cast: Sid Lucero, Archie Alemania, Angeli Bayani, Angelina Kanapi, Soliman Cruz, Mae Paner, Hazel Orencio

Synopsis: A man is wrongly jailed for murder while the real killer roams free. The murderer is an intellectual frustrated with his country’s never-ending cycle of betrayal and apathy. The convict is a simple man who finds life in prison more tolerable when something mysterious and strange starts happening to him.

MTRCB rating: R-13

Running time: 250 mins.

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Reviews:

5.0         Noel Vera (Business World)

“Diaz doesn’t mean to present an ethics lesson; you realize this sitting through the film’s entire 240-minute length, and in fact I’d even insist it’s necessary to sit through the film’s comparatively long running time… to realize the full extent of its complexities and ambiguities, a realization which gradually seeps in, as opposed to being baldly presented on a silver platter — or not present at all.” (Read full review)

5.0         Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“What remains most striking about Norte, however, is its embodiment of a Filipino protagonist in a seemingly foreign, postmodern characterization — distinct from the voiceless subalterns and the oppressed that dominate our present cinematic lore.” (Read full review)

5.0         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (A Girl and a Gun)

“It’s alternately shocking, heartbreaking, moving, suspenseful and even funny! Despite it being deliberately paced and over 4 hours long (short for Lav Diaz’s standards but long for most people), I almost never drifted away from the film nor did it feel dragging or felt too long at all. I felt like watching a master at work.” (Read capsule review)