(Tagalog with English subtitles) Filipino cinema lenged, Lino Brocka, directs this compilation of three intimate stories about the perseverance of hope featuring a drug addict, an abandoned daughter and a repressed catholic.
Abandoned by his American lover, a handsome teenager from the mountains journeys to Manila in an effort to support his family. With a popular call boy as his mentor, Paul enters the ... See full summary »
The hidden nightlife of ordinary people living in Manila unveils. Lovers and families' conflicts are radically pitted against each other as they live in the night streets rampant with drugs... See full summary »
To support her paralytic father, Chato works as a utility girl for a burlesque star Virgie Nite. But when Virgie gets drunk on the night of her scheduled show, Chato pitches in for her. And... See full summary »
Arturo and his wife, Luz Manalastas, both work in a printing press. After Luz becomes pregnant, Arturo ("Turing") is forced to ask for a raise. When he does so, his boss asks him to sign a ... See full summary »
Trapped in the slums, Insiang finds living with her disapproving, sharp-tongued mother, Tonya, trying. Tonya, having long ago been abandoned by her husband, takes her bitterness out on those around her. In a fit of anger, she finally throws out her husband's relatives who have been living with her, but it's not for the sake of their not bringing in money anymore, which it seems on the surface. She's making way for her boyfriend, Dado, to move in. Dado, the town bully, is young enough to be her son, and this new living situation becomes the talk of the town. It isn't long before he forces himself upon Insiang. Tonya is at first outraged but soon takes Dado's side and blames her daughter for her own rape. Insiang leaves home to seek support and solace from her ardent would-be boyfriend Bebot, but he proves to be another Lothario as well. Forced to return home, Insiang turns this inescapable situation upon itself to exact revenge. Written by
Lino Brocka's 1976 melodrama of slum family love double-crosses was the first Filipino film to be shown at Cannes and is being revived at festivals. It deserves to be seen for the female actors, mother Tonia (Mona Lisa, credible as an aging lady who's still highly sexed and attractive) and gorgeous daughter Insiang (pronounced "Inshang"). Hilda Koronel, who plays Insiang, is enough like a Loren or a Lollobrigida to make you think of Fifties or Sixties Italian cinema and the visual style is conventionally of an early period, but this brutal story lacks the humanity and warmth of the Italians. Tonia drives a family of in-laws out of her shack (which is in with other families; in this barrio there is no privacy and all is known) because she can't feed them, but her ulterior motive is to bring in Dado, a handsome, macho man and a gambling no-good probably young enough to be her son, as her lover. Insiang has several young men interested in her, but the one she chooses is too cowardly and lazy to run away with her as she would like. Soon Dado puts the make on Insiang. It turns out badly for just about everyone in this miserablist drama, which has been compared to Fassbinder and Sirk. It's been commented that the story undercuts the two major values in Filipino film motherhood and the sanctity of the family. Brocka certainly keeps things lively, as do popular dramatic films from other Third World countries, and telenovelas. Yes, this holds the attention; but unfortunately the print used for the NYFF 2006 showing was an ugly-looking digital transfer that made all the boys look pimply and the shots look shoddy. Only Koronel's face shines through.
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