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Sean Ellis, 2013

Independent

English writer/director Sean Ellis brings an outsider’s eye to this thriller set in Manila and shot entirely in Tagalog. The slums of the Filipino megacity, to which impoverished farmer Oscar and his wife Mai relocate with their infant daughters, are painted as otherwordly and thick with menace; even the kindness of strangers is laced with ulterior motives.

They find employment: her bar work is demeaning, his security job increasingly hazardous as he is drawn into a classic noirish web of material temptation and moral compromise. Not too novel but efficient and engaging.

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