26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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director: Liryc Dela Cruz
original title: Santelmo
country: Italy, Philippines
year: 2021
running time: 52 min.


Encyclopaedias describe St. Elmo's fire as a harmless meteorological phenomenon caused by a strong static discharge. In Philippine mythology, a "santelmo" is a wandering soul of a deceased person who has not found peace yet. Similarly, young men wandering through countryside seek in vain reconciliation with the world in this hypnotic black and white poem that resembles the work of Lav Diaz because of its contemplative pace. The three young men, whose aimless journey is accompanied only by rustling of leaves and grass, chirping of insects, and singing of birds, speak about people for whom they have suffered and whom they plan to take revenge on. Yet, they are prevented from freeing themselves by memories that cannot be killed.

„We exist in nothingness. We live searching for answers."


Liryc Paolo Dela Cruz (1992) is a Filipino director, screenwriter and producer. He worked as Lav Diaz’s assistant, and he is considered a prominent figure in the slow cinema movement. His minimalist, non-narrative films Notes from Unknown Maladies (2018) and On Endings (2020) premiered at the Ji.hlava festival.

more about film

director: Liryc Dela Cruz
cast: Narfed Egar, John Michael De Castro, Jay Mark Serante
producer: Liryc Dela Cruz, Leonardo Birindelli, Evelyn Vargas-Knaebel, Vladelyte Ramos
script: Liryc Dela Cruz
photography: Liryc Dela Cruz, Liryc Dela Cruz
editing: Liryc Dela Cruz
koproducent: Bianca Zialcita
výkonný producent: Stephane Triffault, Liryc Dela Cruz
výprava: Liryc Dela Cruz
Ministerstvo kultury
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