lørdag 4. mai 2013

"Unfair Wages"


Original title: Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag
Year: 1975
Country: Philippines
Language: Tagalog
Number: 600
Director: Lino Brocka
Starring: Bembol Roco, Hilda Koronel, Lou Salvador Jr, Joonee Gamboa

 The Claws of Light is by many regarded as the best Filipino film ever made, and I can certainly see the reason why. It's the story about the twenty-one-year old man named Julio Madiaga, who used to be a simple fisherman in one of the rural provinces but has moved to the capital Manila in order to find his girlfriend who was promised a decent job and an education by one suspicious fat woman. Nobody knows where she is, and Julio's one goal in life is to find her. But in the meantime, he needs money for food, but the wages that he earns as a construction worker is just inhumane.

This is a strong emotional story. You just feel so bad for Julio, who are one of many living in this unfair world of low wages and social injustice. It's an everyday struggle to survive. The people Julio meets might be gone the next day. It's a social drama that show us the dark side of an industrialized society, with poor working conditions, which causes violence and prostitution, which Julio at one point is forced into as a male prostitute. It has the same dark tone as Scorsese's Taxi Driver, and Julio Madiaga is the Filipino Travis Bickle, who at one point simply can't take it anymore. A strong powerful drama with a strong political voice. Thumbs up.

Rating: A-

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