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Manila in the Claws of Light (1975)

Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag (original title)
Júlio Madiaga, a 'provinciano', arrives in Manila to search for Ligaya, his loved one.

Director:

Lino Brocka

Writers:

Edgardo Reyes (novel), Clodualdo Del Mundo Jr. (screenplay)
Reviews
8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilda Koronel ... Ligaya Paraiso
Bembol Roco ... Julio Madiaga (as Rafael Roco Jr.)
Lou Salvador Jr. Lou Salvador Jr. ... Atong
Joonee Gamboa ... Omeng
Pio De Castro III Pio De Castro III ... Imo
Danilo Posadas Danilo Posadas ... Benny
Joe Jardi Joe Jardi ... Frank (as Joseph Jardinazo)
Spanky Manikan ... Gido
Edipolo Erosido Edipolo Erosido ... Eddie
Pancho Pelagio Pancho Pelagio ... Mr. Balajadia
Purita Yap Purita Yap ... Nanay
Josephine Gutierrez Josephine Gutierrez ... Kapatid ni Ligaya
Gina Zegui Gina Zegui ... Kapatid ni Ligaya
Ronnie Magalong Ronnie Magalong ... Kapatid ni Ligaya
Anna Marie Nicolas Anna Marie Nicolas ... Batang Ligaya
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Storyline

Julio Madiaga, a simple fisherman from the province, travels to Manila to find Ligaya, the woman he loves, after she went away with a mysterious woman promising a better future in the City. When he arrives, he becomes immersed in the city lifestyle and gets involved with its inhabitants experiencing extreme poverty, hard luck, and the overbearing need to grind for daily sustention. While Julio relentlessly searches for Ligaya, the city changes him little by little, becoming like an animal doomed to live only for survival in a wild jungle with no way out. Written by Terrence16

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Philippines

Language:

Filipino | Tagalog | English

Release Date:

16 July 1975 (Philippines) See more »

Also Known As:

Manila in the Claws of Light See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema Artists See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Misericordia Street in Sta. Cruz, Manila which is featured in the movie as the place where Julio patiently waits for Ligaya, is now called Don Tomas Mapúa Street. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are shown in black text over plain white background. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Bangkang papel sa dagat ng apoy (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Julio's journey through hell....
9 December 2009 | by FalconeerSee all my reviews

Lino Brocka's masterful study of a man's loss of innocence is a centerpiece of great Filipino cinema. The tale of young innocents traveling to the infamous city of Manila, and losing their way, has been told countless times, but "Manila: In the Claws of Neon" was the first, and this unflinching look at urban decay must have shocked people at the time. Bembol Roco is heartbreaking in his role as the small-town laborer who travels to Manila in search of his beautiful girlfriend, who has vanished without a word. With his baby face and puppy dog eyes, he conveys the image of the ultimate naive youth, and Hilda Koronel possesses the same pure quality, as his lost love, Ligaya.

Once in the clutches of the decadent metropolis, Julio is forced to either let go of his innocence, or be swallowed up by the ruthless, hardened characters around him. This same theme returns in Brocka's equally powerful "Insiyag." 'Maynila' is more than a study of lost innocence, of course. It is also an honest look at third World poverty, and the desperation that causes people to do things that they might not do otherwise, in order to survive. One of the film's most harrowing scenes features a scared and sickened Julio, lured into working at a sleazy male whorehouse. The character is obviously not homosexual, and being forced into having sex with men is the beginning of his own personal demise. The bloody, shocking climax of this film is one of the most memorable disturbing set pieces in film, and was borrowed from heavily, by Martin Scorsese a year later for his classic "Taxi Driver." Viewed back to back it becomes evident as the scenes in the hallway of the dark apartment tenement are virtually identical. Brocka's vision came first, too bad so few people are not aware of this beautiful film. Thought to be lost, due to improper storage of the film, this has surfaced on the internet, which is where i was able to finally see it. This one, and some other Filipino films are long overdue for restored DVD releases. If you can find it, see it.


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