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Its four-hour length is undeniably imposing, but Norte, the End of History rewards patient viewers with an absorbing, visually expansive viewing experience.
All Critics (37)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (34)
| Rotten (3)
Powerful and humbling, this 2013 drama is worth every minute you're willing to give it.
A political and spiritual parable, but related with such subtle realism and incantatory rhythms that it is far more mysterious than didactic.
If the movie's universal themes don't impress, its specific details do.
This is a classical tragedy of the modern Philippines and of global capitalism, a story of violence, hate, fear and love spread out on a colossal panorama which extends its reach into the realms of the spiritual and the supernatural.
There are moments of staggering beauty and power on display here and yet there are also moments when it seems to be ambling around with no clear idea of where it wants to go.
More than four hours long, filmed in expansive takes with almost no close-ups and very few camera movements, Lav Diaz's "Norte, the End of History" is a tour de force of slow cinema.
Most directors would let the medium be subservient to the rich storyline but not Diaz who elevates and elucidates the themes of the narrative through full mastery of his craft
Diaz's embrace of a mobile camera and exploitation stories suggests that "contemplative" cinema has probably never really been a reproof to Hollywood spectacle and suspense, so much as it's been an extension of spectacle by other means.
It's a monumental achievement: a four-hour film you wish could be longer.
This is the work of a filmmaker blessed with the gift of chronicling the unbearable heaviness of being. He basks in the redemptive glow of thematic ambition.
An endangered species, Diaz makes a point to treat cinema as a complex, multifaceted art form in which sensual, intellectual, and sacred experiences are inextricably linked.
A deaf and tragic prison drama of ideologically intertwined stories. [Full review in Spanish]
Diaz uses mostly long shots to make a clinical study of guilt and the nature of evil, but after a solid build-up in the first hour the film is slowed down by long passages where nothing much happens and its poetic attempt at an end is frustrating in its refusal to bring the story to an actual conclusion.
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