August 01, 2013

Apparition (2012)

Apparition (2012)
Directed by: Vincent Sandoval
Country: Philippines

Review: Faith is put to the test in the small Adoration Monastery, located in the middle of the woods in Rizal, Philippines, where a group of devoted nuns dedicate themselves to simple daily tasks and prayers. Set in 1971, when president Marcos declared Martial Law, the film tries to make a parallelism between religious and political ‘silences’, addressing the guilt and remorse that accrue from behaving impassively when facing certain reproachable happenings. The story follows Sister Lourdes, a young nun who happily joins the isolated Monastery, becoming close of Sister Remy whose inclination for political action is in her blood. After the Mother Superior has pointed them as external nuns, they will take advantage of the little freedom granted to attend political meetings in town. Certain day, when they were coming back to Monastery, Sister Lourdes was caught and brutally raped by three rebels in the woods. Since that moment, a diabolical curse falls in the Monastery and peace will no longer be part of the nuns’ daily life. Even if some long shots, especially those with prolonged crying and agony, could have been slightly improved, Vincent Sandoval’s sophomore feature was quite creative, exploring the heaviness in each scene to convey the oppressive sadness of its characters. In soft pale colors, and frequent close-ups, here is another perspective of Philippines’ tough reality, leaving us with the essential question posed by the nuns: why God wants us to go through all this?

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