Blu-ray, DVD Release: Manila in the Claws of Light

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 12, 2018
Price: DVD $20.52, Blu-ray $27.37
Studio: Criterion

Lino Brocka (Insiang) broke through to international acclaim with  the mystery-drama Manila in the Claws of Light, a candid portrait of 1970s Manila and the second film in the director’s turn to more serious-minded filmmaking after building a career on mainstream films he described as “soaps.”

A young fisherman from a provincial village arrives in the capital on a quest to track down his girlfriend, who was lured there with the promise of work and hasn’t been heard from since. In the meantime, he takes a low-wage job at a construction site and witnesses life on the streets, where death strikes without warning, corruption and exploitation are commonplace, and protests hint at escalating civil unrest.

Mixing visceral, documentary-like realism with the narrative focus of Hollywood noir and melodrama, Manila in the Claws of Light is a howl of anguish from one of the most celebrated figures in Philippine cinema.

Features on Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD incarnations of the film include the following:

* New 4K digital restoration by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines, and cinematographer Mike De Leon, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Introduction by filmmaker Martin Scorsese
* Signed: Lino Brocka, a 1987 documentary about the director by Christian Blackwood
* “Manila” . . . A Filipino Film, a 1975 documentary about the making of the film, featuring Brocka and actors Hilda Koronel and Rafael Roco Jr.
* New piece with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
* New English subtitle translation
* An essay by film scholar José B. Capino

Buy or Rent Manila in the Claws of Light

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.