Last weekend's IndioBravo Filipino Film Festival in New York City prompted me to watch again the movie Himala (Miracle). Himala is considered one of the best Filipino films of all time and recently voted CNN Asia Pacific Screen Awards Viewers Choice Award - the Ishmael Bernal's film beat Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" to the top prize.
The film deserves its critically acclaimed and iconic status not only because of the story but also the performance of its lead actress, Nora Aunor.
The film is full of strong Christian worldview message about a young woman named Elsa (Aunor) who claimed have seen the Virgin Mary, start healing people and causing a hysteria in her small isolated town, Cupang. The film tackles religion, faith, faithlessness, sin, repentance, purity, truth and delusion. The heart of the story is the question: Are the people of Cupang putting to their faith in the divine or not? The film is a good reminder of the long time struggle of man to find something to believe in.
The most notable scene or line on the film is Elsa's revelation Walang Himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao... ang himala ay nasa puso nating lahat! (Translation: There is no miracle! Miracles are in the heart of a person... miracles are found in all of our hearts!)
The line is well-known in the Philippines and most famous line of Nora Aunor. Though there's an element of truth in that line through the film's lenses, in real life, our faith should be not what's in our hearts but who is in our heart. If Christ is in our heart, then you and I have what it takes to see and experience the real himala.
Hope you can see this classic film.
Embedded below is CNN Screening Room's feature on "Himala"