Manila in the Claws of Light

Manila in the Claws of Light

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project

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.

Restored in 2013 by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines, and Mike De Leon. Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute.

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Manila in the Claws of Light
  • Manila in the Claws of Light

    Directed by Lino Brocka • 1975 • Philippines

    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 f...

Extras

  • Martin Scorsese Intro

  • MANILA . . . A Filipino Film

    Made by filmmaker and cinematographer Mike De Leon in 1975, this documentary about the making of MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF LIGHT features interviews with director Lino Brocka, actors Hilda Koronel and Rafael Roco Jr., and others.

  • Signed: Lino Brocka

    This 1987 documentary by Christian Blackwood profiles filmmaker Lino Brocka.

  • Challenging the Viewer

    In this 2018 program, critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns discusses director Lino Brocka, MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF LIGHT, and the social context in which the film was made.