TO BE honest, I don’t really watch a lot of local movies. Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a lack of appealing and persuasive offerings in Philippine cinema for the past many years. And I mean no disrespect, by the way.
However, the first two instalments of what is expected to be a ‘Marvel-ish’ trilogy of the historic biopics of General Antonio Luna, General Goyo Del Pilar and (coming soon but no spoilers!) President Manuel Quezon compelled me to take a closer and harder look not only at our movie industry but at the history of our country.
Watching these masterpieces, I was stunned by the plots that gave rise to uncomfortable truths and brooding reflections about our flawed heroes, our shared history and its untold truths.
There are just too many parallels to present times.
Are some atrocious murders (like 2009’s Maguindanao Massacre and 2015’s Mamasapano failed operation, for instance) fated to be unsolved? Because indeed, our history is insanely peppered with so much betrayals, villainies and yes, fake news that were handed down from generations to generations. (Seriously? Meron na pala nito noon pa?)
Bonifacio and Luna’s inexplicable assassinations, Mabini's ethical and ideological influence being repressed and the deaths of many unsung heroes seemed like such a tragic waste of ‘patriotism.’ And yet here we are, glorifying “idols” and false heroes down to our text books and money.
I know that these films are fiction based on facts, but they made me realize that now, more than ever, with our unrivalled access to information, is the perfect era to literally rewrite history by paying a closer look at the events of our time and accurately recording them for our future generations.
Because at the end of the day, "nation rebuilding," if we can all it that way instead, can only start with a true understanding of the past.
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