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San Francisco International Film Festival @ BAM/PFA

Sunday, May 4, 2014
6:00 p.m. Manila in the Claws of Light
Lino Brocka (Philippines, 1975)

Digital Restoration!

In 1978, Lino Brocka’s film Insiang received favorable responses at the Cannes festival, and in 1980, his Jaguar was the first Philippine film to be presented in competition at that event. Manila in the Claws of Light is, perhaps, one of Brocka’s most representative, trenchant examples of social criticism and ruthless determinism. The story describes the experiences of a provincial youth, Julio, who comes to Manila in search of his childhood sweetheart, Ligaya. The city is a totally destructive force and Brocka quite unflinchingly exposes the exploitation of construction workers, the torpid atmosphere of overcrowded slum areas, and the creeping degradation that eventually smothers all. A procession of vibrant characters inhabit Brocka’s film world, and one senses the genius of an Asian Gorky, who seems dedicated to reshaping his public, something he has in common with other outstanding Third World directors. Julio’s ultimate fall from innocence is a symbol of all forgotten youth who, caught in a web of indifference, resign themselves to the limitless deafness of a world outside.—Albert Johnson, SFIFF 1980

Restored in 2013 by the World Cinema Foundation and the Film Development Council of the Philippines at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines, and Mike de Leon. The restoration of Manila in the Claws of Light was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives deposited by Pierre Risseint, on behalf of Lino Brocka, at the BFI National Archive since the early 1980s. The state of conservation of the negatives was critical. The negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution. The digital restoration process required considerable effort due to the great number of issues affecting the negative: tears, scratches, warping, visible marks, and halos. Color decay was also a significant problem. The film’s cinematographer, Mike de Leon, attentively guided the grading phase and validated a positive print for reference.

• Written by Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr. Photographed by Mike de Leon, del Mundo. With Bembel Roco, Hilda Koronel, Rafael Roco, Jr., Lou Salbador, Jr. (124 mins)

Tickets on sale April 4. Online tickets are available through the SFFS ticketing system. Follow the link below and select "buy tickets." BAM/PFA members receive a discount online by using a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-5186.

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