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Reaching Cannes via ‘Maynila’

Lino Brocka’s restored classic makes grand debut in the world’s biggest fest

CANNES—It’s a fitting “homecoming” for the late National Artist for Film Lino Brocka in this resort city south of France.

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Brocka’s Cannes “discoverer,” Pierre Rissient, has been campaigning for years for the Filipino filmmaker’s return to the Croisette.

Over three decades after the world premiere of “Insiang” in the Section Parallèlle/Directors’ Fortnight, another Brocka classic will be unveiled on May 17 in this year’s edition of the Cannes International Film Festival.

Brocka was the country’s most well-known director in the international scene before his death in a car accident in 1991.

Brocka’s 1975 film, “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” was chosen to be featured in the Cannes Classics section, along with other screen gems like Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “Cleopatra,” Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” in 3D, Alain Resnais’ “Hiroshima Mon Amour,” Patrice Chéreau’s “La Rein Margot,” Francesco Rosi’s “Lucky Luciano,” Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”

Brocka’s “Maynila” represents Philippine cinema in this esteemed lineup.

After all, “Maynila” is “an acknowledged classic not just in the Philippines, but all over the world,” explained Briccio Santos, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), which undertook the restoration project along with Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation (WCF) and the film’s cinematographer and producer Mike de Leon.

Last year, the FDCP premiered another “lost” Filipino classic, Manuel Conde’s “Genghis Khan” at the Venice film fest.

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TAGS: `maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag’, Cannes Film Festival, cinema, France, Lino Brocka
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