Manila in the Claws of Light (Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag) (1975)

Restored by: The Film Foundation/World Cinema Project and the Film Development Council of the Philippines   |   Philippines

Manila in the Claws of Light" is a descent to the first circle of hell [...] that of social alienation, particularly hard for Julio, a fisherman from a poor but almost Adamic world. The Dante of the suburbs and building sites, Brocka shows the path of his hero with black pebbles: fatal accidents in the construction site, fights that tragically predict his desire to kill, a rugged engraving of the circles of male prostitution. And, forever in our memory, the vision of the epitome of Dante's Beatrice, taken from her family by an old lady on the false pretext of sponsoring the girl's studies, though actually sold at high prices to a Chinese tradesman. Lino Brocka was a radical filmmaker whose socially conscious films explored the plight of the marginalized and ignored sectors of Filipino society. Some of his best works are Insiang (1978), a revenge tale of a girl's rape by her mother's lover, which became the first entry by a Filipino filmmaker at the Cannes Festival, earning him the prestigious Palm d'Or. Manila: In The Claws of Light (1975), Jaguar (1980), and Bayan Ko (My Country, 1984) were also nominated for the award, further cementing his reputation as one of the greatest directors to come out of South East Asia. According to film historian and Brocka's expert Pierre Rissient, of roughly 60 titles only 4 original negatives of Brocka's production survive. These films are in great danger and urgently need restoration. The Film Development Council of the Philippines brought Manila to the attention of the The Film Foundation - World Cinema Project. FURTHER INFORMATION: 1. Describe the element/s used for restoration, stating gauge and nature and specific problems associated with them (up to 100 words): The restoration of Maynila: sa mga kuko ng liwanag was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives deposited by Pierre Rissient, 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. 2. State the original aspect ratio and format (up to 100 words): Original camera negative 1:1,37 3. Outline the restored aspect ratio and format (up to 100 words): 35mm print and DCP 1:1,37 4. Explain where the work was carried out for each title (including labs and facility houses) and broken down where there are multiple titles in an entry (up to 100 words): MAYNILA SA MGA KUKO NG LIWANAG (Manila in The Claws of Light) was restored in 2013 with fundings provided by the World Cinema Foundation (now "The Film Foundation - World Cinema Project") and the Film Development Council of the Philippines at Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines and the film's cinematographer and producer Mike de Leon. 5. What methodology was used? (up to 100 words): 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. 6. What preservation elements have been generated and where will they be stored? (up to 100 words): The restoration produced a new negative which will be stored at the Cineteca di Bologna Film Vaults on behalf of The Film Foundation World Cinema Project