A desperate man tries the seemingly impossible in order to start a new life in this drama from filmmaker Raymond Red. Raul (Raul Arellano) is a laborer in Manila who, like most of the people living in the city, is mired in poverty. Raul would like to leave the country and get a better-paying job in a nation with a stronger economy; he'd also like to visit his dying father in the rural village where he was born, but he doesn't have enough money to do either. Desperate to raise some cash, Raul agrees to help some friends pull off a robbery, with the target a con man who demanded large fees to get them new jobs elsewhere but never delivered; Raul accidentally sleeps through the job, but he also gets away unnoticed, and he thinks he might have the nerve to pull off an even bigger crime. Fashioning a homemade parachute, Raul bluffs his way onto an airliner and stages a skyjacking, demanding a hefty ransom for the safety of the plane. Himpapawid (aka Manila Skies) was inspired by a true-life incident of a Philippine hijacking which took place in 2000; the film was an official selection at the 2010 Rotterdam International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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