In the Claws of a Century Wanting

In the Claws of a Century Wanting

Jewel Maranan
Philippines
2017
120 minutes

In the backstreets of Manila’s busiest port, thousands of people — many of them migrants from the Philippine countryside — live under precarious conditions. For the residents of the impoverished district of Tondo, an industrial cacophony permeates daily life as children look for scrap metal and coal, women prepare meals for their families, and men watch television before their night shifts at the docks. From their makeshift homes (with no gas or electricity) they see and hear a flow of international cargo ships, stacked containers, moving cranes, and goods that come and go. It’s the sight and sound of global capitalism and the promise of a better future. The port is thriving, but its planned expansion will displace thousands as the surrounding area is demarcated for development.

Filmmaker Jewel Maranan observes the contradictions in this changing landscape and their effect on the lives of various characters who share the same fate. Her camera follows the plight of four families as the government forces their resettlement, casting a critical look at the everyday violence that precedes the construction of a globalized city. Among the struggle, her contemplative cinematography finds resilience and poetry in the quotidian. The camera catches a glimpse of a crane against the sky through a corrugated sheet of iron, then lingers on the sight of a busy road overpowered by the deafening sounds of rain. A layered study of unbridled capitalism, In the Claws of a Century Wanting reveals the imprints of systemic forces on ordinary moments. -MS

Director Jewel Maranan will be in attedance and will participate in a post-screening dialogue with Vanessa Banta, PhD Candidate in Geography at UBC.