It’s hard to accuse a 485 minute film of being ‘too long’, simply for the fact that it operates according to a completely separate set of rules to conventional cinema. That said, Lav Diaz’s latest is too long.

Lullaby boasts Diaz’s typically impressive visuals, deep sense of time and place, and enigmatic approach to storytelling, but it feels loose, unfocused in places, and, again, too long.

At best, Lullaby is a spellbinding odyssey into the knotty heart of the human condition, an intimate reflection on a nation’s history of oppression. At worst, it is overwrought and plain weird.

While not lacking in evidence of Diaz’s genius, there is simply too much here; with a merciless running time, Lullaby is equal parts magnificent and maddening.



CAST: Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Hazel Orencio, Alessandra de Rossi, Bernardo Bernardo


WRITER: Lav Diaz

SYNOPSIS: In the midst of the Filipino revolution, the widow of its instigator goes in search of his body. 

A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery was reviewed as part of One Room With A View’s coverage of the 66th Berlinale Film Festival, which runs 11-21 February 2016.