The Cinema of Asia
Philippines / 2007 / Tagalog dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / DigiBeta / 86 minutes
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In an astonishing, breathless opening sequence, police raid a tenement building in the teeming, narrow-alleyed slum of Quaipo, Manila. The story then follows the inter-locking lives of a wide cross-section of the tenement's residents: an orphan whose father is killed in front of him (Jiro Manio); a 'jammer' (Nathan Lopez), or petty thief, brutalised by a tough cop after robbing a schoolkid; an advertising sidecar driver (Coco Martin). There are also young hustlers and drug addicts and other ordinary inhabitants just struggling to get by. The characters are caught up in a multitude of incidents: petty thefts, fights, the distractions of religious parades and the bribing of corrupt political fixers.


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