Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag

Fisherman Julio leaves his idyllic island province to search for his girlfriend Ligaya in Manila, where she allegedly has a job. He signs up at a construction site, where the workers are ruthlessly exploited. One day at the market, he spots the woman who lured Ligaya to the big city. She takes him to the house of a Chinese man, where Julio thinks he recognises his girlfriend at a window. When he loses both his job and his apartment, he ends up with a street hustler, who indoctrinates him into the world of prostitution. It becomes increasingly clear that Ligaya is also working as a prostitute, albeit not voluntarily … This social drama depicts the ordeals of two young people as representatives of the urban underclass during the Marcos regime, whereby the real location is freighted with symbolic meaning. Oppression and state corruption in Manila in the Claws of Light are countered by gestures of solidarity among the poorest of the poor. But neither religious solace nor the Marxist revolution will provide salvation for the two lovers, seen finally in a cinema, hugging as the passion of the Christ in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings (1961) unfolds.


  • Runtime

    124 min
  • Country

  • Year of Presentation

  • Year of Production

  • Director

    Lino Brocka
  • Cast

    Hilda Koronel, Rafael Roco Jr., Lou Salvador Jr., Tommy Abuel, Jojo Abella, Lily Gamboa-Mendoza, Joonee Gamboa, Pio de Castro III, Joseph Jardinazo, Spanky Manikan
  • Production Company

    Cinema Artists
  • Berlinale Section

  • Berlinale Category

    Feature Film