69th Venice International Film Festival
Director: Alberto Barbera
Coinciding with a total eclipse when people believe that the world is ending, inconsequential lass Elsa witnesses an apparition of the Virgin Mary on top of the hill where as an infant Elsa was found and adopted by Saling. The village people’s initial reaction is disbelief until Elsa starts to heal. People both rich and poor throng to this remote village, inspiring entrepreneurs to put up businesses with some renting out their shacks as motels catering to the foreigners. An independent director tries to document Elsa’s healing and activities, Mrs. Alba begins to sell bottled water blessed by Elsa. But while praying on the hill, Elsa and her aide Chayong are attacked and raped by drug addicts. Elsa stops to heal and becomes pregnant and devotees think Elsa is having an immaculate conception. What will happen when Elsa reveals that there has never been a miracle and that healing comes from the people’s faith and belief?
language: Filipino - s/t English, Italian
Nora Aunor, Veronica Palileo, Spanky Manikan
A fi lm is not just the story of a couple of characters. it is also the story of a society. And that is Himala. What I show in Himala is the picture of a society that is ill. A society which has no recourse but to cling to apparitions and miracles. It is not important if there really was a miracle or not. What is important is the need of a people to believe.*
* Translated from Tagalog by scriptwriter Ricardo Lee.