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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A film reviewed recently: the ability to observe the world with(in) cinema capabilities; the ability to interfere with an exemplary story of survival, with the plasticity of an open and close view; the structure in one frame, each frame, multiple layers of observation without decreasing the realist register; the introduction of a personal look (zooming) in world's History with his own language. Remarkable.
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*