The much-acclaimed film, “Jose Rizal,” will be shown as the highlight of the 119th anniversary commemoration of the Philippine National Hero’s martyrdom on Wednesday, 6 pm, Dec. 30 at the Jose Rizal Heritage Center, 1332 W. Irving Park, Chicago.
Directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya in 1998, the film depicts the life of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, from his childhood with his brother Paciano (Pen Medina), his school years in Ateneo, to his unjust execution in Bagumbayan. Cesar Montano won best actor in various film festivals for his title role, together with a highly-acclaimed cast including Joel Torre who played a familiar role of Crisostomo Ibarra/Simoun (from Noli and Fili) and Gloria Diaz as the hero’s mother, Teodora Alonzo.
ABOVE PHOTO: "Jose Rizal:" The multi- award winning movie was directed by acclaimed director, Marilou Diaz Abaya.
The film was dubbed as the most spectacular and "controversial" Philippine film epic because of its record-breaking 80-million (1998 figure) budget. It was also considered as one of the biggest, finest and most successful historical films ever made in the history of Philippine cinema. The film won several prestigious awards and has also premiered at several well-known film festivals around the world including the Berlin International Film Festival.
The film depicts Rizal’s novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, serving as his weapons against the dominions of Spain in the Philippines. These novels became an inspiration for the “KATIPUNAN.” Its founder, Andres Bonifacio (Gardo Versoza) condemns the oppression of the friars and the Spanish colonizers. The only way for independence and freedom is through revolution.
Rizal’s novels stimulated uprisings in the Philippines. Innocent people were imprisoned by the government by merely possessing the books of Rizal.
On Nov. 1896, Rizal has been brought to Fort Santiago, and he refused to admit that he knows anything about the revolution and he was accused as a traitor. After Christmas, Rizal was sent to the colonial court to hear the trial against him. Soon after, the magistrates summarily condemned him to die by firing squad.
At the night before the execution, Rizal hallucinates, seeing his alter ego-protagonist Simoun of his novel El Filibusterismo tempting the author to change the climax of the story.
The film concludes with scenes of execution on the morning of Dec. 30. Rizal gave his sister a small alcohol stove from his cell with his poem "Mi Ultimo Adios." At 7 am, the shooting squad points at his back, Rizal readily uttered his final words: Consummatum est. (It is done.)
Meanwhile, Consular officials will lead in a floral offering at 9 am, Dec. 30 at the Rizal Monument, along Lake Shore Drive and Marine Drive between Lawrence and Wilson Avenues in front of Weiss Memorial Hospital (Margate Park) in Chicago. Participation in this event is open to the public.
The film, "Jose Rizal," is in color, in Tagalog with subtitles in English, runs close to three hours. Brief discussion to follow. The Order of the Knights of Rizal, Ladies of Rizal and the Philippine Consulate General are co-sponsoring the event which is open free to the public.
A pre-showing catered dinner is available for $15. Interested persons, please call Mariano A. Santos (847) 528-4991, Carmen Estacio (312) 793-7352 or Liezl Alcantara (312) 583-0621 x13.
The Philippine Independence Week Committee (PIWC) will hold its Kick-off 2016 party on Sat., Jan. 9 at the Northbrook Hilton, 2855 N. Milwaukee Ave. Northbrook, IL at 6:30 pm to midnight. Attire is formal. Donation is $50. RSVP no later than Dec. 31. For more inquiries contact Mercy Matousek at 708-284-0196.
The installation of new officers for the 2016-2017 Laguna Association of the Midwest Christmas party will be held on Saturday, Jan. 2 at the Hilton Northbrook, 2855 N. Milwaukee Ave. Northbrook, IL 60062. The outgoing President is Lindy Tan and the incoming President is Gene Brizuela. For more inquiries, contact Myrna Cordero at 847-999-8913 or Laguna Founder Rey Elazegui at 773-742-5322. Former Laguna members are invited to come and see the progress of the association.