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Banned in its native Philippines, MIDNIGHT DANCERS tells the story of three brothers who work as exotic dancers and prostitutes in a Manila gay club. Director Mel Chionglo, "one of the most polished, intelligent directors in the Philippines, has given us a world like every other in terms of emotions, values, and survival, but unlike any other in fascination and erotic charge." (Toronto Film Festival)
When Sonny, the youngest of three brothers, returns from University to find work, he is soon forced to join his two older brothers on the stage and in the back rooms of Manila's gay club scene and learn the family trade. His brother Joel has been selling himself for several years and at the age of 23 is ready to quit to spend more time with his wife...and his gay lover. Brother Dennis lives on the street and has joined a violent street gang that deliberately flirts with danger. As their precarious world begins to spiral out of control, the brothers are soon on the run with blood on their hands, confronted with the harsh realities of crooked cops, jealous lovers, nasty pimps and murderous gang leaders.
Chionglo has made a docu-drama that captures the language, rituals, despondency and malevolence of this sensuous, erotic and dangerous world to create "a compassionate portrait of Manila's gay subculture." (Variety) The cast of superb newcomers helps make MIDNIGHT DANCERS "a powerful urban epic... warm, vital, humorous & emotionally charged." (Los Angeles Times) Shot on the streets and in the bars of Manila's gay world, MIDNIGHT DANCERS shows how poverty and destitution have led to a gay sexuality intertwined with prostitution, as many gay and straight men are forced to work as call boys to support their families.
Seductive glamour, nubile dancers... a Filipino answer to Visconti's Neo-Realist Epic, Rocco and his Brothers... A movie with a big heart and a large vision. --New York Times
Erotic and shocking. A raw honesty, brave, and unflinching. --WBAI, New York
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