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by Jewel Maranan


A documentary about people living around Manila, In the Claws of a Century Wanting explores the harsh lives led in the backstreets of the port, a world of busy working people, ships, cranes and stacks of huge containers. We follow the lives of five people exposed to the everyday violence that is poverty. There is Anne, who is raising her third child. A little boy named Akira, who learns from the letters written on sacks and searches for pieces of metal and coal. Eddie, who enjoys watching TV before his night shift as a longshoreman, as midwife, Paning, brings disturbing news. Finally, there’s Emelita who is preparing her husband’s funeral. The port promises a better future in the name of development, but people are about to lose their homes. Proper education isn’t provided for children and there’s no gas or electricity in the houses. The camera catches glimpses of the sky through the stifling frame of dark dilapidated houses, contrasting with the gorgeous port in the distance. This insider’s view lets us feel their daily struggle, rather than making their lives a mere spectacle.

original title: In the Claws of a Century Wanting
country: Germany, Philippines, Qatar
year: 2017
genre: documentary
directed by: Jewel Maranan
film run: 123'
screenplay: Jewel Maranan
cinematography by: Jewel Maranan
film editing: Jewel Maranan, Lawrence S. Ang
producer: Jewel Maranan, Ingmar Trost
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