The Halt is set in a phantasmagoric dystopian future where madmen control Manila after massive volcanic eruptions have plunged Southeast Asia into darkness. Berlin, Venice and Locarno award-winning director Lav Diaz’s latest film is a potent sci-fi epic. Holding a mirror to present-day despots and invasive surveillance, it concentrates power in the hands of a solitary young woman. Spinning a tale that urges recovery from collective cultural amnesia, The Halt is an immersive and truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Introduction by filmmaker Lav Diaz

There will be a 15 minute interval during the screening

"Having frequently set his films in the past as a means of reflecting on the present, Diaz goes the sci-fi route with The Halt, whose phantasmagoric dystopia, set in the year 2034, is a thinly disguised representation of the contemporary Philippines. Not only does everything look the same – a budgetary limitation that the director turns into a Brechtian asset – but the country is ruled by President Nirvano Reyes Navarro, a grotesque despot whose white-shirted outfits and penchant for feeding the flesh of drug addicts to his pet crocodiles clearly signal him as stand-in for the actual president, Rodrigo Duterte." —Giovanni Marchini Camia, Sight & Sound

Lav Diaz

Lav Diaz (1958) studied economics at the University of Notre Dame and attended the Mowelfund Film Institute in Manila. His nine-hour film Death in the Land of Encantos (2007) received a Special Mention at Jeonju International Film Festival, Melancholia (2008) won the Venice Horizons Award at Venice International Film Festival, From What Is Before (2014) received the Golden Leopard at Locarno International Film Festival, A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (2016) was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize at Berlinale, and The Woman Who Left (2016) won the Golden Lion at Venice International Film Festival. Diaz is also a screenwriter and musician.


The Halt (2019), Journey (2018), The Boy Who Chose the Earth (2018), Season of the Devil (2018), The Woman Who Left (2016), The Day Before the End (2016), A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (2016), Fragment (2015), Storm Children: Book One (2014), From What is Before (2014), Prologue to the Great Desaparecido (2013), The Firefly (2013), Norte, The End of History (2013), An Investigation on the Night That Won't Forget (2012), Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (2012), Century of Birthing (2011), Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution (2011), 'Butterflies Have No Memories' in Visitors (with Naomi Kawase and Hong Sang-soo, 2009), Purgatorio (2008), Melancholia (2008), Death in the Land of Encantos (2007), Heremias (Book One: The Legend of the Lizard Princess) (2006), 'Nang Matapos Ang Ulan' in Imahe nasyon (2006), Evolution of a Filipino Family (2004), Jesus the Revolutionary (2002), Batang West Side (2001), Naked Under the Moon (1999), Burger Boy's (1999), Serafin Geronimo: The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (1998)

Lav Diaz at #BFMAF2019

Feature film 20th Sep · 21:30 (485 mins)

A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery

Lav Diaz

Animistic Apparatus presents an overnight screening of Lav Diaz’s epic film—projected outdoors continuously and ending around sunrise—as a nocturnal offering to the spirits of place and the ecology of visible and invisible beings of Berwick-upon-Tweed.