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Jose Rizal: a 1998 Film

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The film “José Rizal” by Marilou Diaz-Abaya is not foreign to me. I have watched it before and believed its contents. It is amazing to see all their efforts in trying to recreate the life story of our national hero, Jose Rizal. The movie is very convincing as well. However, after attending KASPIL1 classes, I found out that not everything I know about Rizal is correct. After watching the movie again, I found details that alter the truth. One of the mistakes made in the movie happened during the scene where Rizal was being interrogated. He was asked if he knew Bonifacio— “the founder of the Katipunan”. This statement, however, is not completely true. Bonifacio is not the only founder of the Katipunan. It is true that Bonifacio became the president of the Katipunan but he was not the first one.

In one of the scenes, Paciano was shown convincing Jose Rizal to travel to Europe. Despite Rizal’s reluctance, Paciano wanted Rizal to study in Europe and while in Europe, he can freely express the injustices of the government. However, this is not completely true. It was never made clear on why Rizal left the country. There are only theories but no accurate facts.

Another scene showed Rizal witnessing his mother’s arrest. This is actually true; however, in the movie, Rizal was only a little boy when his mother was arrested. Rizal was already a teenager when his mother was arrested due to false accusations. It was also mentioned in the movie that the friars has been holding a grudge on the family of Rizal for a long time. This is not true for the friars even favored the family of Rizal. In one of the letters sent to Rizal when he was abroad, it was implied that the friars favored them among other families.

This biographical film about Jose Rizal is truly amazing. Watching it makes you feel like you were actually there when it happened. That is why it is very convincing. However, it would have been better if it convinced us of the truths. The entire movie is not completely a pool of mistakes; but the slightest fallacy can change a lot in history.

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