From What is Before

Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon
Director: Lav Diaz

Philippines, 2014, drama, 338 min., filipino with english and lithuanian subtitles, N-16

The title of the film is from the Latin phrase “a priori”, used in Western philosophy as knowledge independent of all particular experiences, an argument/justification on the essentiality of truth that is easily gleaned even without empirical evidence.

In 1972, the dictator Ferdinand Marcos proclaimed Martial Law plunging the entire Philippines into its darkest period. The epoch practically obscured everything that is essentially Filipino then. Marcos’ political methodology was clinical and brutal. 
The story of the film revolves around the lives of poor villagers in one of the remotest regions of the Philippines before Martial Law was declared. Loosely based on real events and characters, the film examines how an individual and collective psyche responds to changes in social and physical environment.


2014 – Golden Leopard for the best film at the Locarno International Film Festival.

About director:

Lav Diaz — director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer, composer from Philippines. He is notable for the length of his films, some of which run for up to eleven hours. Since 1998 he has directed twelve films, and won several international awards. Film “Batang West Side“ won at the Singapore International Film Festival, plus awards at the Independent Film Festival of Brussels, Gawad Urian, and Cinemanila International Film Festival. Film “Death in the Land of Encantos“, was the closing film of the Venice Film Festival and was awarded a Golden Lion Special Mention. His eight-hour film “Melancholia“ won the Orizzonti Grand Prize at the Venice International Film Festival. Film “From What is Before“, which Kaunas International Film Festival is presenting, have already won in Locarno Film Festival in Best Film category. 

Section: Main programme

Dir. of Photography: Lav Diaz

Cast: Perry Dizon, Roeder Camañag, Hazel Orencio, Angelina Kanapi, Karenina Haniel