"Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino" ("Evolution of a Filipino Family"), 2004
Cine Adarna, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
It was Dec. 17, 2004, an hour before midnight. The sun seemed like a distant memory. The black-and-white images on-screen — images of the families of a farmer and a miner struggling through the torturous passage of languorous time — felt more immediate, more real. The nearly 12 hours I spent inside the aging Cine Adarna theater at the University of the Philippines, watching "Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino" felt like a lifetime. The theater is named after the mythical, elusive Adarna bird, a creature whose songs can cure many illnesses and induce anyone to sleep. As director Lav Diaz painstakingly created a cinematic universe with a heartbreaking resemblance to reality, there were times when the movie had an Adarna-like effect, even lulling me to sleep...
(Read more of the movie experience from Matt Zoller Seitz's Slideshow: The movie experience I can't forget in Salon.com.)