Julio Madiaga goes to the city to look for his long lost love, Ligaya Paraiso. His search leads to a radical shift in his character – from a naive country boy to an angry young man thirsting for justice. He works in a construction site and when he loses his job, he resorts to prostitution. He finally encounters his sweetheart who recounts her own sufferings. Since she was forced to marry a rich, possessive man Julio and Ligaya plot their escape.
“I was in first-year college and our literature professor assigned us to watch Manila. I was stunned. It was so powerful that time. I remember discussing the film passionately with my classmates. Yes, Marcos knew the use of media and the arts. He knew the dynamics of control and the principle of mythmaking via these mediums. He was a master of the concept of conditioning. He was very much into that culture – the Animal Farm type – and so, Lino was an enemy and a threat.” (Lav Diaz) —TFF
Lino Brocka was born in Pilar, Sorsogon. He directed his first film, Wanted: Perfect Mother, based on The Sound of Music and a local comic serial, in 1970. It won an award for best screenplay at the 1970 Manila Film Festival. Later that year he also won the Citizen’s Council for Mass Media’s best-director award for the film Santiago!.
In 1974 Brocka directed Weighed But Found Wanting, which told the story of a teenager growing up in a small town amid its petty and gross injustices. It was a box-office hit, and earned Brocka another best-director award, this time from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS).
The following year he directed The Claws of Light, which is considered by many critics to be the greatest Philippine film ever made – including British film critic and historian Derek Malcolm 1. The film tells the allegorical tale of a young provincial named Julio Madiaga who goes to Manila looking for his lost love, Ligaya Paraiso. The episodic plot… read more
The film does a good job at bringing social issues in The Philippines to our attention but in successfully doing so, it harms the film as a piece of art. Plots are contrived to bring up different issues or to provoke an emotional response. Characters are introduced simply for them to be killed off and serve no other purpose but the tragedy of their death. etc. Even so, it was powerful and engaging at times. 3*