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CNN: ‘Himala’ best Asian film in history

November 12, 2008 09:36:00
Gerry Plaza gerry_inq7@yahoo.com
INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines— (UPDATE 4) A spellbinding victory for Philippine cinema.

Visitors to the Cable News Network entertainment website voted Ishmael Bernal’s “Himala,” which starred Nora Aunor as a simple provincial girl turned faith healer, as the best movie of all time in the Asia-Pacific region, outclassing such greats as Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” and Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

Others in the top 10 that vied for the honor, in which “Himala” was the only Filipino film, included Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s “Mou Gaan Dou (Infernal Affairs)” from Hong Kong, Chan-wook Park’s “Old Boy” from South Korea, Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)” from Japan, Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali” from India, Peter Weir’s “Gallipoli” from Australia, Wong Kar Wai’s “Chung Hing Sam Lam (Chungking Express)” from China, and Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s “Gabbeh” from Iran.

According to the CNN website, critics, industry insiders, Asian film stars, and CNN viewers chose the movies that landed in the shortlist of ten films. The online poll that ran in October determined the winner.

The Filipino classic, which was written by Ricky Lee and originally released in 1982 for the Metro Manila Film Festival, was announced the top vote-getter in the popular vote and named the winner of the CNN-APSA Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of All Time on Tuesday at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Hundreds of film industry luminaries from around the world attended the event.


With Bayani San Diego, Jr.

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