Lino Brocka

Manila in the Claws of Light

Manila in the Claws of Light

Lino Brocka achieved international acclaim with this candid portrait of 1970s Manila, a breakout example of the more serious-minded filmmaking the director had turned to after building a career on mainstream movies he described as “soaps.” A young fisherman from a provincial village arrives in the capital on a quest to track down his girlfriend, who was lured there with the promise of work and hasn’t been heard from since. In the meantime, he takes a low-wage job at a construction site and witnesses life on the streets, where death strikes without warning, corruption and exploitation are commonplace, and protests hint at escalating civil unrest. Mixing visceral, documentary-like realism with the narrative focus of Hollywood noir and melodrama, Manila in the Claws of Light is a howl of anguish from one of the most celebrated figures in Philippine cinema.

Film Info

  • Lino Brocka
  • Philippines
  • 1975
  • 125 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • Tagalog
  • Spine #926

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Cineteca di Bologna, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines, and cinematographer Mike De Leon, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Signed: Lino Brocka, a 1987 documentary about the director by Christian Blackwood
  • “Manila” . . . A Filipino Film, a 1975 documentary about the making of the film, featuring Brocka and actors Hilda Koronel and Rafael Roco Jr.
  • New interview with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar José B. Capino
    New cover design by Adam Maida

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Cineteca di Bologna, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines, and cinematographer Mike De Leon, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Signed: Lino Brocka, a 1987 documentary about the director by Christian Blackwood
  • “Manila” . . . A Filipino Film, a 1975 documentary about the making of the film, featuring Brocka and actors Hilda Koronel and Rafael Roco Jr.
  • New interview with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar José B. Capino
    New cover design by Adam Maida
Manila in the Claws of Light
Cast
Hilda Koronel
Ligaya Paraiso
Rafael Roco Jr.
Julio Madiaga
Lou Salvador Jr.
Atong
Tommy Abuel
Pol
Jojo Abella
Bobby
Lilly Gamboa-Mendoza
Perla
Joonee Gamboa
Omeng
Pio De Castro III
Imo
Joseph Jardinazo
Frank
Spanky Manikan
Gido
Danilo Posadas
Benny
Pancho Pelagio
Mr. Balajadia
Bobby Roldan
Call boy
Jerry O’Hara
Call boy
Rudy Hermano
Call boy
Rikki Jimenez
Rikki
Chiqui Xeres-Burgos
Cesar
Tommy Yap
Ah Tek
Juling Bagabaldo
Mrs. Cruz
Credits
Director
Lino Brocka
Producers
Severino Manotok Jr.
Producers
Mike De Leon
Screenplay
Clodualdo Del Mundo Jr.
Based the novel Sa mga kuko ng liwanag by
Edgardo Reyes
Director of photography
Mike De Leon
Camera operator
Ding Austria
Editing
Edgardo Jarlego
Editing
Ike Jarlego Jr.
Sound
Luis Reyes
Sound
Ramon Reyes
Original music
Max Jocson
Art director
Socrates Topacio

From The Current

Bringing the Grit to Philippine Cinema
Bringing the Grit to Philippine Cinema

For Philippine master Lino Brocka, casting a mix of nonprofessional and professional actors was key to achieving his brand of unvarnished naturalism.

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Manila in the Claws of Light: A Proletarian Inferno
Manila in the Claws of Light: A Proletarian Inferno

Gritty realism meets Hollywood-inspired melodrama in this portrait of urban poverty, seen through the eyes of star-crossed lovers.

By José B. Capino

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