Aparisyon (Apparition). 2012. Philippines. Directed by Isabel Sandoval. With Mylene Dizon, Jodi Sta. Maria, Raquel Villavicencio, Fides Cuyugan-Asensio. In Filipino; English subtitles. 87 min.
Tucked away in a remote forest, the convent of Adoration is inhabited by a group of nuns seeking a peaceful life of devotion and discipline, filling their days with nothing but mundane chores and prayers. But the wish for a life in isolation is threatened when President Ferdinand Marcos declares martial law, and political protests and chaos begin to infiltrate every corner of the archipelago. Suddenly, the nuns find themselves engulfed in violence and unrest that will eventually put their faith and conscience to the test. A rarity among the young generation of Filipino filmmakers, Isabel Sandoval favors a muted, serene aesthetic. The elegant work of cinematographer Jay Abello captures an eerie placidity that renders the film’s stormy undercurrents all the more powerful and disturbing.