Last Journey of Ninoy

Topics: Ferdinand Marcos, Philippines, Benigno Aquino, Jr. Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: December 27, 2010
Essentially, the film re-enacts the last few days of Ninoy’s life - from the time he said goodbye to his family in Boston to board the plane that would take him to Los Angeles, Singapore and across the border to Johore in Malaysia, then Hong Kong and Taipei, up to his arrival in Manila on August 21, 1983. The uncertainty on his face when military agents picked him up to escort him out of the plane will forever be etched in the minds of viewers, as we all know what happened when he reached the tarmac. Interspersed in the day-to-day accounts are significant anecdotes from Ninoy Aquino’s life as a political whiz kid, his spiritual transformation in prison for seven years and seven months under Martial Law, the political enmity between him and the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his exile in the US, and finally, martyrdom in the Philippines. The film made good use of archival footage that were sometimes blurred and grainy, but still very effective in recalling historic events. For prison scenes, illustrations conveyed the anguish of Cory and her children, although some could have been rendered in a more compelling style. The re-enactment showed mercifully short takes of Bam Aquino in the role of his uncle, avoiding the melodramatic tendencies of many Filipino directors. Some of the highlights of the film are the candid interviews with Cory Aquino just a few months before she passed away, as she recalled not only the hardships but also the coping strategies of the family in dealing with their political enemy. One particular tearjerker was Cory’s narration of their visit to Ninoy in a military camp in Laur, Nueva Ecija, when she saw her husband cry for the first time, his steely resolve nearly crumbling as he held up his pants and squinted through a mesh-wire fence to talk to his family (the soldiers had taken away his belt and eyeglasses). There was a bit of comic relief when Cory revealed that she had taken tranquilizers before the visit, making Ninoy wonder why she was...
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