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