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reaction paper (rizal the movie)

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Topics: Philippines, Slavery
While watching the movie, I have observed similarities and differences of some scenes from today’s youth. Let’s start discussing about the similarities. First thing I have observed is the harsh treatment given by the colonials to our fellowmen especially to women and children. They, if not physically, were verbally abused by the Spaniards. I compared it to what’s happening in our society today and quite noticed a similarity. It is similar in a way that women and children, even the men too, are still abused by foreign people and sometimes even our own people. They also treat them as slaves. Child labor – forcing minors to work – has been a big issue. Women slavery – treating women as slaves, sex slaves to be exact – has been an issue too. Nowadays, our people are still abused and these are oftentimes done by those who have the power like politicians and other well-illustrated persons. They think that with their wealth and position they have the right to hurt our fellowmen. Even a small mistake or a suspicion causes the people who have the power to physically abuse our fellowmen because for them that’s how they should be treated after what they have done. Next thing I have observed is the racial discrimination. As we have discussed in class, it is one of the evils during Rizal’s time. Filipinos who were flat-nosed and brown-skinned were labeled as “Indios” and the Spaniards being pale-complexioned were termed as “Bangus” or milkfish in English. The Filipinos who were called “Indios” had little privileges unlike the “Milkfish” people who had most of the privileges to themselves. The Spaniards look at them like they were as tiny as an ant and they were of no importance to them. Foreign people thought that they were superiors against the Filipinos. They criticize them based on how they look and they treat them rudely based on how rude their criticism on their looks is. There were different beliefs in anointing officials in where Spaniards have believed that Indios have lesser abilities when it comes to governing.

One of the strengths of Jose Rizal is the incorporation of the characters of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo in the life of Rizal and of the Filipinos in general. This only shows that the two books are reflections of the lives of the Filipinos during the Spanish regime. But the thought and noble ideas of the book do not only live in the past but also in the present manifesting the universality and immortality of Rizal's ideas. The beautiful transition of Rizal's time and the setting of the two novels is really impressive. One must have really read the books to better appreciate the movieJoseRizal. While watching the film, I cannot help but relate Rizal to Crisostomo/Simoun, Leonor to Maria Clara. Rizal and Crisostomo both came from a well-off family. Both of them studied in Europe. Both have dedicated their life to free their people from oppression. And then there's a scene where Leonor was walking down the aisle and Maria Clara singing in the nunnery. Both were locked up-the forme to a person whom she does not love; the latter to a place, which seems to be a dead end. Maria Clara jumping off from thebelltowerisherwaytogetou, herwaytowardssalvation. The film also works through a series of flashback showing Rizal as a genius, a writer, a doctor, an artist, a lover, a friend, a brother and a son, thus giving a rich texture of Rizal's character. I also commend the film for its bravery in showing the evil tyranny of the Catholic Church during that time. Considering that the Philippines is a Catholic nation, that is like butchering a sacred cow but alas, Abaya works her magic in depicting the suffering of the Filipinos becauseofthefriars. I particularly love the last scene of the film when Rizal, excellently played by Cesar Montano by the way, fell in the ground facing the sky, having his last breath looking at a beautiful sunrise- a metaphor depicting that Rizal did not die in vain.

As what I have seen in the film viewing last meeting, the Filipino’s life was full of misfortunes. The Filipinos were unfairly treated and even discriminated by the Spaniards. Filipino women were abused by the Spanish friars and other Spaniards. Others were judged without even having due process and even tortured to death for crimes they did not even commit, such that of the child in the film, who was Crispin in Rizal’s novel. Although the Spanish government conducts a court hearing to those who were accused of a crime (only in some cases), they only give Spanish lawyers to defend those accused and even manipulated the law in favor of themselves, leaving the Filipinos with no other choice but to accept and suffer from the crimes that they didn’t even committed. These events were shown and expressed by Rizal in his two novels entitled Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, which the Filipinos have read in spite of the banning of these said books to be read by the public. In spite of many hindrances in the publication of these books, it was still printed to make the Filipinos aware of what was really happening. Rizal almost put these books into fire because of his financial incapability due to the economic problem in Calamba, when the friars increased the tax that they’ve been collecting from the Calamba people which the people didn’t agreed to pay, thus they was forced by the friars to leave from their houses and kicking them out of the lands that they used to plant their crops with. Rizal’s purpose in writing these books was to show his fellow Filipinos of what was really happening in the country and to open their eyes to the unjust treatment and discrimination of the Spaniards to them. And so, as soon as they read Rizal’s novels, they have formed an organization which conducted the revolutions against the Spanish rule. They fought the Spanish tyranny with their weapons that shed blood on the ground, which Rizal didn’t...

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