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281 Ratings

Manila in the Claws of Light

Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag

Directed by Lino Brocka
Philippines, 1975


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.

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Manila in the Claws of Light Directed by Lino Brocka
The brilliance of Manila in the Claws of Light lies partly in its multiple tensions. First, gritty realism occurs alongside poised stylization. De Leon’s artful cinematography unfolds in jarring contrast to the city’s ugliest sights. His panoramic shots and deep-space compositions emphasize the breadth, congestion, and horrid majesty of sprawling shantytowns.
June 12, 2018
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If the middle film of Brocka’s great trio, Manila in the Claws of Light, stands as the director’s finest achievement (it is the film that Lav Diaz credits for jump-starting his own interest in cinema as an art form), this is in part because it so vividly and fully captures the emotional, physical (and thus political) tenor of the city.
September 28, 2017
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The movie’s palpable, deeply lived-in realism is among its great attractions, largely because the film isn’t just a story about a young Filipino Everyman, but because it’s also a de facto record of Manila in the 1970s.
February 05, 2014
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