The film started with a scene showing Jose Rizal writing while narrating about Spanish abuses during his time. The film shows how the friars mistreat Filipino women, how they beat children and students when being disciplined and how they drag Filipino workers when they are being punished. In the film, he also narrated how he put himself as a character, Crisostomo Ibarra and Elias, in his novels because like what Ibarra portrays in the novel, he also wants revolution. When his novel was published, he was also criticized by a friend for its dangerous content but Jose Rizal just smiled to him.
A part in the film is about the complaints of the “Katipuneros” who are also sick of the administration of greedy friars and officials. The leader of the “Katipuneros”, Andres Bonifacio, is convincing his frightened members to revolt before the friars deprive their dignity and rights as a person. These “Katipuneros” were inspired by Rizal to fight for what they know is right. Another scene in the film shows the tearing of cedula, symbol of Spanish conquest in the Philippine nation, as the start of their revolution. They are shouting “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas, Mabuhay si Dr. Jose Rizal”.
Paciano, Jose Rizal’s brother, was also tortured to death and forced to tell Jose’s accused criminal activities. In November 1896, Jose Rizal was arrested and put to jail in Fort Santiago. Jose Rizal was forced by the colonel to tell his secret association with the Katipuneros, but unfortunately, Jose knows nothing about it and he just thought that his name was only used to solicit donations. The colonel also mentioned about Jose Rizal’s novel dedicated to Gom-Bur-Za. A flashback happened about Gom-Bur-Za’s death, named after Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora, which was witnessed by his brother, Paciano.
During his stay in the jail, he confessed to the jail servant that education is important but it may benefit or harm you. He narrated to the jail servant his childhood life. The film shows that his mother was the one who first taught him alphabet and prayers. Jose Rizal entered Justiniano Aquino Cruz’ school and there, he was hit by his teacher and was bullied by the teacher’s son, Pedro. In this scene, you will see Jose’s behavior of not running from troubles, like how he wrestled Pedro. Rizal also remembered what his mother told him about the story of the moth. The story of the moth can serve as his lesson not to be much curious about what is happening around him because it may bring him to death. The servant told Jose that his mother was a great teacher and he must follow her advice. When Rizal was sent to Ateneo de Manila, Paciano suggested to Rizal not to use the surname “Mercado” anymore, but instead he will use “Rizal” because it is harmful for him and he may be involved because their family is close to Father Burgos. Jose operated her mother’s growing blindness, but her mother said that if she will only see sadness and cruelty, it is better to be blind for a lifetime.
Another instance in the film is about the conversation of Jose Rizal with Luis Taviel de Andrade, his lawyer. Taviel de Andrade reported to him the accusations of being heretic, filibuster and ungrateful but Jose stresses that he is thankful because he learned from the Spanish schools that people were not treated equally. A flashback about his education in UST, where Filipinos were compared and discriminated by the Spaniards, is also revealed. He also said to Andrade that he is ready to oppose everything that does not tell the truth. Rizal also remembered his participation in the organization “Comradeship”, where they had a rumble with the Spanish students in University of Santo Tomas and he got a big wound in his forehead but luckily, his uncle, Antonio Rivera, cured him. At that time, he also met his cousin and lover, Leonor Rivera. Jose dedicated a poem to Leonor and that is also portrayed in Noli Me Tangere when Maria Clara sang during their picnic....
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