Tag Archives: Hilda Koronel

#308 Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag

Poster of "Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag" showing the young actor Bembol Roco


  Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Talons of Light) is a 1975 classic Filipino film drama directed by Lino Brocka based on the novel by Edgardo M. Reyes. The film is considered as one of the classics of Filipino cinema in the 1970s and has established Brocka as among the Philippines’ most influential director.

The film starred Hilda Koronel, Lou Salvador, Jr., Tommy Abuel, and in his film debut, Bembol Roco (credited as Rafael Roco, Jr.). The cinematography is by Miguel de Leon, who would later became a renowned director himself.

The film attracted controversy following the censorship it went through and the rejection by the Marcos administration. First Lady Imelda Marcos was reported as having condemned the film for its negative portrayal of Manila and its residents. Foreign and local critics, however, praised the film for its editing and cinematographic qualities, and is widely considered up to this day as one of the enduring examples of cinema noir in the country. (Source: Wikipedia)
Long live Philippine cinema!

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#48 Insiang

Actress Hilda Koronel as Insiang, Lino Brocka's film noir masterpiece

The film “Insiang” by the late Filipino film director Lino Brocka is among the jewels in Philippine cinema and is known as one of Brocka’s masterpieces.

Critics consider Insiang as the best example of film noir in Philippine cinema, a film which takes a hard and critical look at Philippine society and culture-  the ills, faults and the disillusions of its people.

Although the film, produced in 1976, typifies the melodrama that is often seen in Brocka’s movies, it is not a run-of-the-mill tearjerker and rises above other Filipino movie dramas with its exceptional actors, superb script and excellent direction. A story of revenge, lust and poverty, Insiang was set and filmed in Smokey Mountain, one of Manila’s notorious shanty towns located in Tondo.

With its raw realism and portrayal of urban poverty, the film was denounced, censored and denied approval by former First Lady Imelda Marcos, making Brocka an outcast in the  Marcoses’ New Society where the truegoodandbeautiful-only mantra was a dominant rule during  the dictatorial regime of the Marcoses.

With Insiang, Brocka caught the eye of the international film industry when it premiered in Cannes outside the main competition, and launched the career of Hilda Koronel, the lead actress. Ironically, and despite the passage of more than two decades, the film’s portrayal of Philippine society remains valid up to this day, proof of Brocka’s talent and the power of cinematic art.

Mabuhay ang Philippine cinema!

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