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Philippine Cinema

Thursday, October 18, 1984
7:00 p.m.
9:20 p.m.
Manila: In the Claws of Darkness (Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag)
Lino Brocka (Philippines,1975)

"During the last decade, the films of Lino Brocka have formed the nucleus of a moreuniversally-oriented cinema from the Philippines.... The Philippines'public has its own stars, and the thriving commercial success of [its]popular films has, somehow, not discouraged some directors (Mike deLeon, Eddie Romero) who, like Brocka, move toward neorealism andhumanistic subjects.... Manila: In the Claws of Darkness is...one ofBrocka's most representative, trenchant examples of social criticism andruthless determinism among all of his films. The story describes theexperiences of a provincial youth, Julio, who comes to Manila in searchof his childhood sweetheart, Ligaya. The city is a totally destructiveforce, and Brocka quite unflinchingly exposes the exploitation ofconstruction workers, the torpid atmosphere of overcrowded slum areas,and the creeping degradation that eventually smothers all. A processionof vibrant characters inhabit Brocka's film world, and one senses thegenius of an Asian Gorky, who seems dedicated to reshaping his public,something he has in common with other outstanding Third World directors.Julio's ultimate fall from innocence is a symbol of all forgotten youth,who, caught in a web of indifference, resign themselves to the limitlessdeafness of a world outside." Albert Johnson, San Francisco Int'l FilmFestival '80

• Directed by Lino Brocka. Produced by Severino Manotok and Mike de Leon. Written by Clodualdo del Mundo,Jr. Photographed by Mike (Miguel) de Leon. With Rafael Roco, Jr., HildaKoronel, Lily Gamboa-Mendoza, Tommy Abuel. (1975,124 mins, In Tagalogwith English titles, 35mm, Color, Print from British Film Institute withpermission of Pierre Rissient)