A regional riff on Crime and Punishment (and the most intimate epic in a while), Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz’s rich four-hour study of fractured morality introduces us to a louche law student (Sid Lucero, amazing) and a farmer’s son (Archie Alemania). Fate connects them when one man commits a double murder and the other takes the fall. In between digressions about politics, nationalism, class, capitalism and history (or the end of it), we’re treated to a sprawling yet compelling tale of social injustice sans sermonizing. Novelistic is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, but Diaz’s film more than earns the adjective, and you’d have to go back to Edward Yang’s Yi Yi to find another movie that approaches a marathon-length running time yet still makes you wish it were twice as long.
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