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Wednesday, December 27, 2017


"Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag" (1975)
Cinema Artists
Release Date July 16, 1975
Story Edgardo Reyes
Screenplay Clodualdo Del Mundo, Jr.
Photography Mike de Leon
Music Max Jocson
Direction Lino Brocka
Cast Hilda Koronel, Lou Salvador, Jr., Tommy Abuel/ Introducing Rafael Roco, Jr.

Based on the novel by Edgardo Reyes, the film, Maynila, sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, considered by many critics as Brocka’s best and one of the best Filipino films of all time, follows the life of a probinsiyano, Julio Madiaga, played by newcomer Bembol Roco, who comes to the city to look for a better life, takes on various jobs, and survives only through the help of people like Pol (Tommy Abuel). Julio also goes to the city to look for a long-lost love named Ligaya (Hilda Koronel). He does find  her after a long search, but when she tries to escape with him, she is killed by the Chinaman who had made her his common-law wife. In the end, Julio, Ligaya, and all workers are crushed by Manila’s “claws of light.” (The URIAN Anthology 1970-79)

Winner of 9 FAMAS Awards
Best Picture - Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (Cinema Artists)
Best Actor - Rafael Roco, Jr. (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)
Best Supporting Actor - Tommy Abuel (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)
Best Director - Lino Brocka (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)
Best Story - Edgardo M. Reyes (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)
Best Screenplay - Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr. (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)
Best Cinematography - Mike de Leon (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)
Best Editing - Ike Jarlego, Jr. (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)
Best Sound - Ramon Reyes (Maynila...Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (Cinema Artists)

The young Rafael “Bembol” Roco, Jr was a facilitator at a drug rehabilitation center (DARE) when Director Lino Brocka spotted him in 1974. Brocka was filming an episode in the movie he was currently doing, Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa. Bembol had undergone treatment at the center being a drug user. He was offered a role. The young man, serious and intense, accepted the challenge.

Film Review by Mario Hernando
The URIAN Anthology 1970-79
First published at The Times Journal, July 20, 1975

---to read, click images to enlarge---

Rafael 'Bembol' Roco, Jr. as Julio Madiaga

Hilda Koronel and Bembol Roco

Cornered, Julio defends himself, in this climatic ending...

"In the end, Julian is trapped in a dead end right after committing a murder. A mob gathers ready to beat him up, probably to death. Brocka shies away from showing Julian's violent demise but instead centers on Julian's face. It's a ghastly sight..." --- Oggs Cruz
Movie Review by Oggs Cruz--- see link

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