A Brighter Summer Day was the first Taiwanese film I had ever seen and it had left me floored, back at a time when I was wholly ignorant of its history and culture. As I watched more and more Taiwanese cinema, this one film kept echoing and reverberating through my memory, somehow only growing in stature.
About six months later, I decided to finally put my thoughts in writing, and come to terms with how I feel about this…
Filmed over a span of 10 years, running over a period of 10 hours, illuminating the unseen face of a nation spread across its past, present and projected future, this is Evolution of a Filipino Family. This is Lav Diaz. This is cinema at its most potent, mined to its extremes and exploited like never before, fixing a hard gaze on the neglected and abused―the lowest strata of civilized society―like nothing has ever dared to.
Even if the film…