The Woman Who Left (2016)

The Woman Who Left (2016)

A Golden Lion-winning moralistic tale from slow cinema master Lav Diaz

7.4

Movie

Philippines
English, Japanese, Spanish
Drama
2016
LAV DIAZ
Charo Santos-Concio, John Lloyd Cruz, Kakai Bautista
227 min

What it's about

For Horacia Somorostro, living has become a veritable reclusion perpetua, an imprisonment. Life’s spins and randomness has been very difficult, vicious and inexplicable for her. The year is 1997. Princess Diana dies in a violent car crash. The world is saddened by the death of Mother Theresa. And the Philippines is gripped with fear. It has become the kidnap capital of Asia.

The take

Based on the short story “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” by Leo Tolstoy, The Woman Who Left is a film about people with nowhere to go. Set in 1990s Philippines, the film follows Horacia, an ex-convict seeking revenge on her former lover who masterminded her unjust 30-year imprisonment. Along the way, she meets various people—a hunchback balut vendor, vagabonds, and an epileptic trans woman, among others—all downtrodden in their own unique ways and united only by their nightly wanderings, with whom Horacia’s true nature is revealed and reconfigured with every encounter.

Lav Diaz’s signature slow cinema minimalism and sharp chiaroscuro lighting allow for a meditative experience, further enhancing the film’s immersive quality. Despite its bleak atmosphere, The Woman Who Left remains hopeful amidst moral quandaries, where things eventually fall into their rightful place, albeit in unexpected ways.

Comments

Add a comment

What did you think? Who should watch it?

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

A one-of-a-kind biopic that captures a truly disturbed mindset with impeccable filmmaking

7.9

The Beasts (2022)

A slow-burn Spanish thriller hissing with menacing energy and brilliant performances

8.0

The Kings of the World (2022)

A knife-sharp account of five kids' journey to land restitution and self-determination

8.4

One Cut of the Dead (2017)

A one-of-a-kind Japanese zombie comedy that takes the genre to another dimension

7.8

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Director Abel Ferrara provocatively mixes the profane and the blessed to transcendent effect in this gritty interrogation of redemption

8.4

Small, Slow But Steady (2022)

A quiet, inspiring story about connection and perseverance during the COVID-19 pandemic

8.3

A City of Sadness (1989)

With A City of Sadness, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien paints a picture of a society on the brink

8.8

The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future (2022)

A haunting blend of ethereal magical realism and harsh realities about human mistreatment of the natural world

7.4

The Village (2023)

The past haunts the present in this tale of loss and preservation of a village

6.7

Norte, the End of History (2014)

An epic Filipino take on Crime and Punishment that's as harrowing as it is poetic

8.8

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.