Directed by: Lino Brocka
Runtime: 125 minutes
Language: Filipino, Tagalog, English with English subtitles
Rating: R21 (Sexual Scenes)
One of the greatest Filipino films, this candid portrait of ’70s Manila brought Lino Brocka international renown, establishing him as a leading Asian cineaste. Blending visceral, documentary realism with classical noir and melodrama, the film follows provincial Julio as he journeys into the dark heart of Manila to find his beloved Ligaya, missing since being lured there with the promise of a better life. Working as a menial labourer to support his search, Julio becomes immersed in the poverty, exploitation and corruption of the city, with mounting protests (against Marcos’ dictatorship and American imperialism) suggesting it is about to explode. Amidst this chaos, Julio chances upon those responsible for Ligaya’s disappearance, leading him into an underworld of human trafficking and forced prostitution.
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