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Brought to Light: Manila in the Claws of Light

Brought to Light: Manila in the Claws of Light

15 February 2014 | Australian Cinémathèque | Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) | Free admission

"When you watch Manila in the Claws of Light, you will be burned by a flame that never goes out" Pierre Rissient (film critic and Cannes selector)

Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Light) 1975  Ages 18+

Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Light) 1975 Ages 18+

Sat 15 Feb 2014 3.00pm / Cinema A

35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 124 MINUTES, PHILIPPINES, TAGALOG (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: LINO BROCKA / PRODUCER: MIGUEL DE LEON, SEVERINO MANOTOK / SCRIPT: CLODUALDO DEL MONDO, FROM THE NOVEL BY EDGARDO REYES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MIGUEL DE LEON / EDITORS: EDGARDO JARLEGO, IKE JARLEGO / CAST: BEMBEL ROCO, HILDA KORONEL, RAFAEL ROCO JR. / PRODUCTION COMPANY: CINEMA ARTISTS PHILIPPINES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CINEMA ARTISTS PHILIPPINES, WORLD CINEMA FOUNDATION, FILM DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES  / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP (RESTORATION)

A slice of life under the corrupt and oppressive political regime of President Ferdinand Marcos, Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Light) 1975 is widely considered to be the most significant film in Filipino cinema history. Director Lino Brocka follows the story of a poor fisherman Julio (Bembol Roco) as he arrives in the capital in search of his lost love Ligaya (Hilda Koronel). Struggling to survive in the overwhelming city, Julio takes on a number of jobs from black-market labourer to prostitute. A politically engaged filmmaker, Lino Brocka was committed to the true representation of life in the Philippines. His films explored the impact of President Marcos’s policies on ordinary Filipino citizens, including the exploitation of the working classes and the harm caused by illegal trade and unregulated prostitution. Brocka’s films fought heavy censorship and obstruction to the filmmaking process; his 1984 film Bayan Ko (This is My Country) was smuggled out of the country so that it could be screened at that year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Recently restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, the restoration of Manila in the Claws of Light premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival 2013. Using the original camera and sound negatives deposited at the British Film Institute’s National Archive in the early 1980s, the digital restoration process was complex due to the damage affecting the film negative. The final colour grading was overseen by the film’s cinematographer, Mike De Leon.