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Film: Himala

"Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao, nasa puso nating lahat! Tayo ang gumagawa ng mga himala! Tayo ang gumagawa ng mga sumpa at ng mga diyos...""
("There are no miracles! Miracles are in people's hearts, in all our hearts! We are the ones who make miracles! We are the ones who make curses, and gods...")
Elsa (in the most iconic scene of the movie)

Himala ("Miracle") is a 1982 Filipino film, starring Nora Aunor. Himala is the story of Elsa, a barrio lass whose visions of the Virgin Mary change her life and cause a sensation hysteria in a poor, isolated northern village in the midst of drought. The film is centred on the issues of religious faith and faithlessness, morality, and truth. Elsa, in her speech on the hill, delivered the film's (and Aunor's) most famous line, which is quoted above.

Himala became a box-office hit, earning an impressive 30 million pesos, becoming one of the highest grossing Filipino films in the 1980s.

The following tropes include:

  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game"
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When the rain finally came to the town, taking it as a sign that the miracle has returned and they gladly thank Elsa.
    • Mrs. Alba cites Elsa's pregnancy as an "Immaculate Conception" (she actually means a Virgin birth) and thus sees it as a first sign of the miracle coming back. Elsa was actually showing signs of pregnancy from the rape.
  • Arc Words: "ELSA LOVES YOU"
  • Based on a True Story: An incident between 1966-1967 about a teenage girl and the alleged Marian apparition.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Meta-example: The subtitles in the film have both English and Japanese.
  • Bystander Effect: A tragic case. Orly the director does nothing to help both Elsa and Chayong being raped by two drugged youths on the hill and continued filming them for the sake of scoop.
  • Crapsack World: The town is set in an almost desert-like landscape, thanks to a drought believed to be a curse after they drove away a leper. Then there's the townspeople...
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Elsa freezes in a particular pose that evokes such an image when she was suddenly shot while professing to the people.
    • Played straighter when her lifeless body is being carried to the ambulance as the people gravitate towards her.
  • Defiled Forever: Elsa and Chayong were raped by two drugged men on the way to the hill which they often went to to pray. Afterwards, Elsa has not been able to see the Virgin Mary and stopped healing due to the following epidemic and deaths. Though it was Chayong who took it the hardest...
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: All over the place. Extras and all.
  • Downer Ending: You know the one. After delivering her Final Speech to the watching crowd about how 'there are no miracles', she gets shot by a random gunman, causing a violent stampede. She dies in the arms of her 'apostles' and the people mourn her death as she is taken away in an ambulance.
  • Epic Film: Of sorts. The poster even had the words "with a cast of thousands". Subverted since the film was worked with a pretty average budget and there are no expensive sets. Most of the actors used are also not as famous as Nora Aunor.
  • Fanservice: Nimia, flashing her naked body to a bunch of young boys after catching them peeping at the women in her cabaret.
  • Framing Device: When the director professes to the priest about his sin on leaving Elsa and Chayong being raped as he shamelessly films it all, faraway shots of the scene from his camera are shown.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Elsa seemingly gives a faint smile before finally succumbing to the gunshot wound on her chest.
  • Heroic BSOD: Elsa after being raped along with Chayong, seeing her dead body hanged, and witnessing the death of people under the hands of an epidemic which caused her to stop healing.
  • Humans Are Bastards
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Were there really no miracles?
  • Mysterious Waif: Elsa is found on the titular hill as a baby by her adoptive mother.
  • Mourning Clothes: Almost all of the townspeople when burying the victims of the cholera epidemic.
  • Peaceful in Death: Elsa, as she finally breathes her last breath, in contrast with the cacophony below.
  • Prayer Pose: Elsa, kneeling with hands clasped together and her head tilted up high to the Heavens.
  • Recurring Extra: The crazy lady (Aling Pising) that carries her child ( which eventually dies, due to an epidemic) everywhere, asking for help to random passersby.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Guess who.
  • Scenery Gorn: Many, many scenes of the stampede that took place after the shot was fired to Elsa.
  • '70s Hair
  • The Sixties/The Seventies: The movie makes it look that way, what with the movie being set on time of the true incident it was based on. Hence, the lack of 80s flashiness and the movie looking like it was Two Decades Behind.
  • Tempting Fate: Some see as Elsa's profession to the people as this when she speaks with open arms to the people that there are no miracles and it is only people who create miracles, curses and gods. And then, she was shot.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Some portrayals of Elsa.
  • The Unreveal: Subverted. While it is not known who exactly is Elsa's killer and why he had done it, he is seen being beaten up by several men in response to his actions.
  • Women in White

Hey Good LookinFilms of the 1980sHospital Massacre

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