More than three decades after Lino Brocka’s Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Neon, 1975), Filipino filmmakers are still busy depicting the treacherous allure of Manila. The styles and methods may have changed, with today’s directors and story-writers eschewing melodrama for documentary-like realism, but the intent is just the same: to unmask the city of its glittering neon lights and expose the asphyxiating poverty that pervades it. Raymond Red, in Himpapawid (Manila Skies), goes further than trite exposition. He knows that we know that our dire situation, how the nation is always at the mercy of moneyed capitalists, how the masses are suffocated by an inept bureaucracy, how the poor are so impoverished that the only currency they acknowledge is hope. It is that hope that drives them to strive for a better future, relocate to the metropolis where opportunities are peddled left and right, and patiently persist despite the astute oppression and marginalization. http://oggsmoggs.blogspot.com/2010/02/himpapawid-2009.html
HIMPAPAWID is part of the Barcelona Asian Film Festival.
Screenings: May 4 at 6:00 p.m., May 7 at 4:30 p.m.