Coinciding with a total eclipse when people believe that the world is ending, inconsequential lass Elsa (Nora Aunor) witnesses an apparition of the Virgin Mary on top of the hill where, as an infant, Elsa was found and adopted by Saling (Vangie Labalan). The village people’s initial reaction is disbelief until Elsa starts to heal.

People both rich and poor throng to this remote village, inspiring entrepreneurs to put up businesses with some renting out their shacks as motels catering to the foreigners. An independent director tries to document Elsa’s healing and activities; Mrs. Alba (Veronica Palileo) begins to sell bottled water blessed by Elsa. But while praying on the hill, Elsa and her aide Chayong (Laura Centeno) are attacked and raped by drug addicts. Elsa stops to heal and becomes pregnant and devotees think Elsa is having an immaculate conception. What will happen when Elsa reveals that there has never been a miracle and that healing comes from the people’s faith and belief?

Miracle (Himala) is the first classic film chosen by ABS-CBN Corporation to be restored. It took 664 hours for production house Central Digital Lab to manually restore the iconic title. Its significance in the history of Philippine cinema and its numerous achievements over the years were critical considerations in its restoration. Notably, it was recognized as a contender for the Golden Bear Award at the 1983 Berlin International Film Festival; won the Bronze Hugo Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival in the same year; and was hailed as the Best Asia-Pacific Film of All Time by CNN and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2008.

Ishmael Bernal

After his first film Pagdating sa dulo in 1971, Ishmael Bernal (b. 1938) directed different types of films, from historical dramas like The Viper (El Vibora, 1972) to comedies like Half-breed, 1977, and to modern dramas, like Wild Flowers (1976), You Are Mine (1978), Pleasure (1979), the famous City After Dark (Manila by Night, 1980), Miracle (1982). Bernal kept making films until Wating (1994), but died suddenly of a heart attack in June 1996. His work was always a bit shadowed abroad by that of his friends Lino Brocka or Mike de Leon, but remains one of the major work of the great Filipino cinema of that period.


1971 – Pagdating sa dulo
1972 – The Viper
1976 – Wild Flowers
1977 – Half-breed
1978 – You Are Mine
1979 – Pleasure
1980 – City After Dark
1982 – The Affair
1982 – Miracle
1984 – Working Girls 1
1987 – Working Girls 2
1994 – Wating
Max Tessier
Film director: Ishmael BERNAL
Year: 1982
Running time: 125'
Country: Philippines
27/04 - 2.30 PM
27-04-2018 14:30 27-04-2018 16:35Europe/Rome Himala Far East Film Festival Visionario, Via Asquini 33CEC Udine cec@cecudine.org