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Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama | 17 June 2012 (USA)
In a rural area, a father forces his daughter into prostitution. Somewhere else, two men embark on a quest for a buried treasure.


Lav Diaz


Lav Diaz (screenplay)

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Hazel Orencio ... Florentina
Kristine Kintana Kristine Kintana ... Loleng
Noel Sto. Domingo Noel Sto. Domingo ... Manoling
Willy Fernandez Willy Fernandez ... Juan
John Elbert Ferrer ... Hector (as Joel Ferrer)
Dante Perez Dante Perez ... Father
Brigido Tapales Brigido Tapales ... Grandfather
Ana Arienda Ana Arienda ... Neighbor
Erica Nava Erica Nava ... Young Loleng
Jeffrey Sigua Jeffrey Sigua ... Customer


In a rural area, a father forces his daughter into prostitution. Somewhere else, two men embark on a quest for a buried treasure.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »





Filipino | Tagalog

Release Date:

17 June 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agonistes See more »

Filming Locations:

Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sine Olivia See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


On the 25th Images Festival 2012, the film won the On Screen Award. The citation of the jury reads: "This is a beautiful and sad work that shows us why cinema remains important. Lav Diaz's Florentina Hubaldo CTE is a portrait of bare life and suffering. The filmmaker frames the bodies of the powerless in a landscape in which they endure by either taking care of or exploiting each other. We admire this work for its storytelling, its compelling visual framing, and it's pacing and duration, which are essential to the meaning of the work." See more »

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User Reviews

Intense and wonderful
3 July 2012 | by EauDouceSee all my reviews

A film which is profound, perfectly paced, and beautiful. It is six hours long (shown without a break, at the director's request) and on one level little happens and what does happen happens very slowly, yet this is no extended Le Quattro Volte, and the better for it. Nothing is just image, everything matters and rather than starting to feeling drowsy by, say, hour five, I felt more and more alert as the film builds to its intense conclusion, both hopeless and full of hope. The two parallel story threads involve a young woman who is prostituted by her father and, elsewhere, two men who are searching for buried treasure on their family land. The threads are linked, though we do not know how for a long time.

The shots are beautifully composed, often static and sometimes gently panning, and keep a physical distance from the individuals which accords with the distance the narrative maintains from the characters. Some of the compositions are stunning, both in themselves and in relation to each other; the initial shot of a (dry) road, brought into revised perspective when we realise that there are tiny figures coming toward us, mirrors the later shot of a farmer advancing towards us not alongside, but along the bed of a watercourse, subtly working on both visual and metaphorical levels at the same time. Likewise a gecko's departure across a pool prefigures a similar scene when the farmer also departs through the flooded fields. There is a sublime extended sequence where a character, Juan, searches for this gecko rather than for the treasure, which again is both beautiful, freighted with significance and far more powerful because it is given time by the film to assume its meaning.

The final scene changes the register entirely, the distance from the characters swept away by an intense monologue (fimed close-up and to camera, though as an address to another character). Like the epilogue to Berlin Alexanderplatz, the change in register has the greater impact coming at the end of such a length of time. In a moment for which we realise Florentina has been preparing all her life (and preparing us for throughout the film), her eloquence, as well as what she has to say, means we are still reassessing her, ourselves and our reading of the film long after the film has ended. Go out of your way to catch this film; it's six hours very well spent.

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