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Himala

The most celebrated work of the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal, Himala stars Nora Aunor as Elsa an unassuming barrio lass who claims to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary who has given her healing powers. The whole village comes alive again as people, suffering from various kinds of illnesses and deformities as well as those curious to witness Elsa's healing powers, including an aspiring filmmaker flock to the village. The unscrupulous ones, quick to notice the bussiness boom, attempt to commercialize Elsa's popularity. Soon enough Elsa proves herself powerless when she and her friend Chayong were raped by a pair of teenagers, and when she failed to cure the children dying from food poisoning. When she makes a public confession that there is no miracle, she is fatally shot down by an unknown assassin but a group of fanatical followers carries on her cause.

Experimental Cinema Of The Philippines 1982
Directed by Ishmael Bernal
Story & Screenplay Ricardo Lee
Director of Photography Sergio Lobo
Music Winston Raval
Film Editor Ike Jarlego, Jr.
Production Design Raquel Villavicencio
Executive Producer Charo Santos-Concio

Cast
Nora Aunor
Veronica Pallileo
Gigi Duenas
Laura Centeno
Spanky Manikan
Amable Quiambao
Vangie Labalan
Ray Ventura
Cris Daluz
Crispin Medina
Ben Almeda
Tony Angeles
Joe Gruta
Estella de Leon
Aura Mijares

Himala was cited by the URIAN (Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino) as one of the Best Films 1980-1989.

Himala was also the Competition Film at the 1983 Berlin International Film Festival.
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Comments

  • to watch select scenes from Himala click here:

    http://home.comcast.net/~robertalberto/himala.htm


    enjoy! :)
  • here's an excerpt from film critic Alfred A. Yuson's review of Himala originally published in the Philippines Daily Express January 5, 1983. the review is also included in the URIAN Anthology 1980-1989.

    Ishmael Bernal handles Himala masterfully, relying more on his superb manipulation of acting talents than on fancy camera movement. Preferring to stay low-key in visual terms, he allows his dramatization to to unfold on its own merits of story and characterization. He shuns flashiness of technique in favor of quiet exposition and bulid-up, as befits the flavor of his narrative. He hardly uses any reverse cutting, preferring to draw out terrific acting through simple one-shots.

    "Nora Aunor is perfect as Elsa; she leaves nothing to be desired in her interiorization and delivery."

    "The brilliant Aunor gets all the solid backing she can ever get, this time from an array of supporters drawn mostly from the Bulwagang Gantimpala stable."
  • cybernautcybernaut PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    best filipino film ever! i saw it in cinemaONE.

    i'm just curious
    who killed elsa?
  • cybernaut wrote:
    best filipino film ever! i saw it in cinemaONE.

    i'm just curious
    who killed elsa?

    i can't help but agree with you on this one cybernaut.

    about your inquiry there are several theories on who shot Elsa. according to Ricky Lee it wasn't necessary to unveil the assassin's identity. it somehow gave the viewers a chance to think who it might be.
  • i can't help but agree with you on this one cybernaut.

    about your inquiry there are several theories on who shot Elsa. according to Ricky Lee it wasn't necessary to unveil the assassin's identity. it somehow gave the viewers a chance to think who it might be.


    I've never seen the movie, but does it say why Elsa lied about the miracle? Thanks in advance.
  • mangokeyk wrote:
    I've never seen the movie, but does it say why Elsa lied about the miracle? Thanks in advance.

    haven't seen the movie? you can catch it on cinema one... now that Holy Week is fast approaching they will probably be screening the film again.

    not to spoil the movie for you it didn't really say why Elsa lied about the miracle. in her climactic speech Elsa bared her soul to the thousands of believers and non-believers alike proclaiming "Walang himala!" there is no miracle! but even before finishing her speech, she gets shot by an unknown assailant.
  • haven't seen the movie? you can catch it on cinema one... now that Holy Week is fast approaching they will probably be screening the film again.

    not to spoil the movie for you it didn't really say why Elsa lied about the miracle. in her climactic speech Elsa bared her soul to the thousands of believers and non-believers alike proclaiming "Walang himala!" there is no miracle! but even before finishing her speech, she gets shot by an unknown assailant.

    Aaah, yes, yun yung famous speech ni Nora. Thanks, I just might catch it next time.
  • mangokeyk wrote:
    Aaah, yes, yun yung famous speech ni Nora. Thanks, I just might catch it next time.


    click on the link below to watch select scenes from Himala including the famous 'Walang himala!" scene.

    http://home.comcast.net/~robertalberto/himala.htm
  • This is just great friendship Jojo.

    Keep it up.
  • What a great tribute for one of the best Philippine movies ever made - one that celebrates and makes you think about Filipino traits like fanaticism and beliefs.
  • AmazingRaceAmazingRace PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Here's an article from Variety, January 26, 1983

    'Himala' Top Winner at Metro Manila Fest
    Manila, Jan 25, 1983

    "Himala," the first film produced by the government film body Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP) won nine of 11 top awards given at the Metro Manila Film Fest which ended recently. Among others it bagged the top prize best picture trophy and also incentive cash award of 100,000 pesos from fest organizer, Mowelfund. Second and third placers "Moral" and "Haplos" also won 50,000 pesos and 25,000 pesos each (U.S. $1 = 9.30 pesos).

    Aside from fest honors, the top three pictures were also voted "Class A" for excellence by the film ratings board. Each will receive a 50% refund of amusement taxes paid out of boxoffice returns to the municipal treasuries.

    "Himala," which also opened the Manila International Film Festival Jan 24, breaks trends in local filmmaking by featuring only one known actress in the cast with support from unknown television and legit stage performers. It won the following awards: best direction, Ishmael Bernal; best actress, Nora Aunor; best supporting actress, Gigi Duenas; best supporting actor, Spanky Manikan; best cinematography, Sergio Lobo, best editing, Ike Jarlego, Jr.; best production design, Raquel Villavicencio; best screenplay, Ricky Lee.
  • HIMALA is one of the BEST FILIPINO FILM I've ever seen ...

    Excellent ang acting ng mga cast dito, especially MS. NORA AUNOR!!!
  • Critics are one in saying that Nora's performance in this movie is the performance of a lifetime. Congrats Ms Nora Aunor! Tunay kang nag-iisa.
  • jj9527jj9527 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    According to my Pop Culture Professors at UP, Nora Aunor lost by 1 vote during the Berlin Film Festival for the Best Actress Category. There was initially a 3-way tie between Nora Aunor, Meryl Streep (French Lt.'s Woman, I think), and a Russian actress (Ludmila Gutchengko, if I am not mistaken). Sa 2nd voting, natanggal si Meryl Streep. If, during the 3rd voting, nag-tie pa rin si Nora and the Russian actress, The Best Actress Award could have been given to both of them.

    But 1 judge chose to abstain as a matter of delicadeza---there was a Filipino judge that year, Manunuri member Hammy Sotto. So the Russian actress got the award.

    Hammy Sotto, God bless his soul, is actually a Vilmanian!

    The uglier thing was that Nora never got any other award in the Philippines for Himala, save for an MMFF Best Actress award. Vilma won Grand Slam that year for Relasyon.

    I like both Nora and Vilma over-all but I think Nora deserved a grand slam for Himala. Vilma deserved hers, not for Relasyon, but for Sister Stella L.

    Ironically, Vilma suffered the same fate in Stella L. The film bombed in the box office and she hardly received recognition for her role save for an URIAN that year, if i am not mistaken.
  • Here's an article from Variety, January 26, 1983

    'Himala' Top Winner at Metro Manila Fest
    Manila, Jan 25, 1983

    "Himala," the first film produced by the government film body Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP) won nine of 11 top awards given at the Metro Manila Film Fest which ended recently. Among others it bagged the top prize best picture trophy and also incentive cash award of 100,000 pesos from fest organizer, Mowelfund. Second and third placers "Moral" and "Haplos" also won 50,000 pesos and 25,000 pesos each (U.S. $1 = 9.30 pesos).

    Aside from fest honors, the top three pictures were also voted "Class A" for excellence by the film ratings board. Each will receive a 50% refund of amusement taxes paid out of boxoffice returns to the municipal treasuries.

    "Himala," which also opened the Manila International Film Festival Jan 24, breaks trends in local filmmaking by featuring only one known actress in the cast with support from unknown television and legit stage performers. It won the following awards: best direction, Ishmael Bernal; best actress, Nora Aunor; best supporting actress, Gigi Duenas; best supporting actor, Spanky Manikan; best cinematography, Sergio Lobo, best editing, Ike Jarlego, Jr.; best production design, Raquel Villavicencio; best screenplay, Ricky Lee.

    thanks Ken for this excerpt... puwede bang pakilagay din ang link ng ibang reviews from the tribute website dito sa thread? can you also post some of the pictures from the movie? thanks a lot! :)
  • jj9527 wrote:
    According to my Pop Culture Professors at UP, Nora Aunor lost by 1 vote during the Berlin Film Festival for the Best Actress Category. There was initially a 3-way tie between Nora Aunor, Meryl Streep (French Lt.'s Woman, I think), and a Russian actress (Ludmila Gutchengko, if I am not mistaken). Sa 2nd voting, natanggal si Meryl Streep. If, during the 3rd voting, nag-tie pa rin si Nora and the Russian actress, The Best Actress Award could have been given to both of them.

    But 1 judge chose to abstain as a matter of delicadeza---there was a Filipino judge that year, Manunuri member Hammy Sotto. So the Russian actress got the award.

    Hammy Sotto, God bless his soul, is actually a Vilmanian!

    The uglier thing was that Nora never got any other award in the Philippines for Himala, save for an MMFF Best Actress award. Vilma won Grand Slam that year for Relasyon.

    I like both Nora and Vilma over-all but I think Nora deserved a grand slam for Himala. Vilma deserved hers, not for Relasyon, but for Sister Stella L.

    Ironically, Vilma suffered the same fate in Stella L. The film bombed in the box office and she hardly received recognition for her role save for an URIAN that year, if i am not mistaken.

    that's true Nora lost by a mere vote to Ludmilla Gutchengko... she wasn't able to attend the festival due to a few misunderstandings. she only won the MMFF Best Actress in 1982, which according to film historians is one of the best MMFF ever 1976 included. it's very sad to know that most award giving bodies ignored her brilliant performance in Himala now 23 years later is still being talked about and is considered one of the Greatest Filipino Films ever made.

    film critic Joel David wrote that Nora's performance as Elsa in Himala was "truly a great actress' opportunity of a lifetime, and Nora Aunor seized it and made it not just her role, but her film as well."
  • I agree that Vilma was good in Sr Stella L but I think she was better in Relasyon, way, way better. Even so, Nora's performance in Himala was far better, and yes, she deserved a real grandslam.
  • What can i say friendship, this is one great thread! I really love this movie. This is my turning point as a lover of pinoy movies!
  • HIMALA is one of the BEST FILIPINO FILM I've ever seen ...

    Excellent ang acting ng mga cast dito, especially MS. NORA AUNOR!!!

    can't help but agree....until now, this movie is unsurpassed.....indeed, this is one, if not the best filipino film ever......
  • AmazingRaceAmazingRace PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    webhimala2.jpg

    Pics from Ricky Lee's book Si Tatang at mga Himala ng ating Panahon.
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