Multi-award winning filmmaker Lav Diaz is making his first foray into the small screen. His upcoming eight-episode TV series will be based on newly minted National Artist for Literature Ricky Lee’s short story, “Servando Magdamag.”
The series, which will stream later this year on iWantTFC, is also based on the same material as Diaz’s latest film, “Isang Salaysay ng Karahasang Pilipino,” which will be making its premiere at the 33rd International Film Festival Marseille this July.
Both the TV series and film tell the story of Servando Monzon III (played by John Lloyd Cruz), the heir to an hacienda with a violent history at the beginning of the oppressive Marcos regime.
“He is aware of his clan’s long history of violence, he knows the very violent history of his county, and he foresees a very violent future with the Marcos dictatorship,” explains Diaz in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Both the film and the show delve into agrarian issues, the feudalistic nature of Philippine society, and of course, violence. “My adaptation, while being true to its vision, discoursed further on the issue of trauma and fractures on the psyche as caused by interminable violence in all its forms,” Diaz further explains.
While the story is set decades in the past, the plotlines still parallel current events. On June 9, over 85 ARBs (agrarian reform beneficiaries) and members of supporting organizations were arrested over a land dispute in Concepcion, Tarlac. The farmers and supporters were held on the grounds of “criminal assembly” and “malicious mischief.”
Not to mention the Marcos’ return to Malacañang.
The film and television show will also feature the performances of Charo Santos-Concio, Shaina Magdayao, Agot Isidro, Bart Guingona, Hazel Orencio, Nanding Josef, Noel Miralles, Noel Sto. Domingo, Earl Ignacio, Susan Africa, Topper Fabregas, Gio Gahol, Shing Gener, Air Salazar, Allen Alzola, Angelica Shivers, Max Celada, Jo Ann Requiestas, Glendel Dacumos, Lhorvie Nuevo, Ace Urieta, Reynan Abcede and Erlyn Medalle. Cinema One, Black Sheep, iWantTFC and Sine Olivia Pilipinas are all co-producers.