Evolution of a Filipino Family was directed by the Filipino independent director Lav Diaz who is well know for making his films unwieldy long and Evolution of a Filipino Family, who was shot over a period of eleven years, makes no exception, in fact it is his longest movie to date and even the fourth longest of all time.
I just saw it in one sitting to get the most out of it and obiously it takes a lot of patience and willingness by the viewer. Diaz is one of the most well known "slow cinema"-directors, which means they are pretty minimalistic (black & white, lack of mentionable soundtrack etc. pp.) but at the same time monumental (640 minutes long). He tells his storys pretty slow, like they would appear in real life, for example we see people working on the fields which, of course, takes it's time, or when they are eating dinner in the evening in silence for ten minutes, then so it is. That's because Diaz wants to capture reality and make movies apart of Hollywood superhero-movies and sadly that is one reason why only few people know his works, apart from hardcore-cineasts.
But what is it about? We follow the storys from a three-generation family over the period of 16 years who have to deal with such things as dictatorship, poverty, crime or dealing with people with a disability. Evolution of a Filipino Family shows political circumstances and changes in the Philippines from the 70s and 80s, so a little common knowledge especially about Ferdinand Marcos is helpful, but not necessary.