by Chris Datol
Special screenings of feature films inspired by the life and heroism of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal will be held starting today as part of the country’s celebration of his 150th birth anniversary on Sunday, June 19.
The event is being organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), together with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), which will be holding special screenings at the Rizal Open Air Auditorium in Rizal Park, Manila.
The list of movies is headlined by the movie Rizal sa Dapitan directed by Tikoy Aguiluz, to be shown today, June 17. The film, which stars Albert Martinez and Amanda Page, presents the hero’s exile in Dapitan where he stayed from 1892 to 1896. It depicts the experiences of Rizal (played by Martinez) in mingling with the locals, his efforts in educating young students, and how he met his “last love”, Ms. Josephine Bracken (Page).
The following day, Saturday, Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Jose Rizal will be shown. The multi-awarded movie, which stars Cesar Montano in the title role, bagged various citations in year 1999, including the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award of the Metro Manila Film Festival, the FAMAS Award for Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography for the Gawad Urian Award. The film shows Rizal’s life and works as a writer, propagandist, lover, friend, brother, doctor, and as a man that inspired a revolution.
Sisa, a 2008 film, will meanwhile be shown on June 19. The movie, which stars Jodi Santamaria, Jay Manalo, Aleck Bovick, and Carlo Maceda, presents the story of the fictional character Sisa (Santamaria) from Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere.
A 15-minute documentary film, Lolo Jose: The Family Carries On will also be shown before the screening of each movie. The documentary was produced by Vibal Foundation, and tells the stories of Rizal from the point of view of his modern-day descendants. Story upon story are layered in a rich collage of history, experience and memory, until Rizal comes vividly to life in all his humanity: as a son, brother, lover, friend, and grand uncle.
These screenings, which are open to the public, are also co-presented by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), Vibal Foundation, VIVA Films, GMA Films, and OnCam Productions.