White Slavery

International Premiere | Out Of Competition | PART 2 - A/B side VIBES. Greatest Hits from ‘80s & ‘90s


Trapped, and no escape… As a homage to the late actress Jaclyn Jose (who died on March 2 this year, aged 59 only), one of the few restored films available is White Slavery, one of the late, more commercial films directed by Lino Brocka (who died in a car accident in May 1991). It is one of the many films of that period to tell the story of poor country girls who come into “the claws of Manila,” looking for a “decent job,” and being preyed on by merciless sex-mongers, as it is the case here.

Written by the famous Ricardo (“Ricky”) Lee, who collaborated many times with Brocka and several other Filipino directors, White Slavery, as the title suggests, introduces three young girls from the provinces who arrive in Manila, lured by the process of a regular job in a “restaurant:” Joy (Sarsi Emmanuelle), Pinang (Emily Loren) and Linet (Jaclyn Jose) soon find out that they are literally trapped in the house of Mrs Antiporda (Tita de Villa), which is actually a girlie’s bar where having sex with the the customers is part of the “menu.” The naive girls understand too late that they have been lured to become sex workers. They desperately try to escape, but they are blocked by the local pimp Allan (Ricky Davao), who is in fact the right arm of Mrs Antiporda… The film carefully follows the ill fate of the three girls, until a tragic end which precipitates the fall of the house of sin.

Obviously a “minor” film by Brocka, as compared with his strong masterpieces, such as Manila in the Claws of Light, Insiang, Jaguar, Bona, or Macho Dancer. White Slavery is one of the many sexploitation films made in that period, at the end of the Marcos era.

The difference is the “Brocka touch” with the constant attention put on the characters, and the social background showing how some fragile human beings can be easily transformed into sexual preys.

As for Jaclyn Jose, she was then casted mostly in “sex scandal films” at the dawn of her career (White Slavery is only her second role), such as Private Show or Flesh Avenue (1985), and many others, before she was recognized as one of the best actresses of her generation, acting in dozens of films, and being finally awarded Best Female Actress at the Cannes Festival in 2015, for Ma Rosa, by Brillante Mendoza. She has embodied the many aspects of the ever changing Filipino cinema.

White Slavery is a good example of a regular sex film, but made by one of the greatest directors of his generation.

Max Tessier
Film director: Lino BROCKA
Year: 1985
Running time: 90'
Country: The Philippines
25/04 - 2:00 PM
Visionario, Via Asquini 33
25-04-2024 14:00 25-04-2024 15:30Europe/Rome White Slavery Far East Film Festival Visionario, Via Asquini 33CEC Udine cec@cecudine.org