It may be a bit presumptive at this time but the newest film, “Hinulid,” starring Nora Aunor may be the Superstar’s most important piece of work yet.
Her list of accolades may be long and the variety of roles she has played many but this film from writer and director, Palanca winner for Literature Kristian Sendon Cordero will be the first to have her speak in her mother tongue Bikol-Rinconada.
Aunor has been an Igorot in “Banaue,” a Badjao in “Thy Womb,” an Ilocano in “Ang Kuwento ni Mabuti” and a Waray in the film “Taklub.”
In “Hinulid,” Aunor plays the role of devout Roman Catholic Sita Dimaiwat who comes home to Bicol to cremate her son, a law student in Manila who died due to a violent hazing incident. As Sita makes her way back, she listens to a recording of her son’s voice as he recites his lessons in law.
In more ways than one, “Hinulid” is not only a passion project for Cordero but also a homecoming film for fellow Iriga City native Aunor.
“This film has to be made because the time for Bicol has come,” Cordero says. “The region is experiencing massive urbanization in some key cities—malls and call centers are coming in while the rest of the region remains poor. But we are very rich with our stories to share, stories of our struggles and defeats, our little joys and victories, our hopes and aspirations.”
“Hinulid,” he says, is a film that attempts to contemplate on tragedy and transcendence in the Bicol way. It attempts to weave together Bicol folktales and the current situation, to reconcile how Bicolanos endure and choose to live on despite being in the “singsing nin kalayo, mata nin bagyo” (the ring of fire and the eye of the storm).
“I hope that many of Bicol’s young filmmakers will be inspired and encouraged to do films about our stories as Bicolanos,” Cordero adds. “By doing films in and from the region, we may also be able to contemplate and reflect what it means to be part of the narratives of the nation.”
“Hinulid” is the second in a trilogy of movies Cordero envisions to complete, the first being his debut film, “Angustia,” for Cinema One in 2013. It is also one of eight finalists in the 3rd Quezon City International Film Festival, which will run Oct. 14-22.