The Retraction of Rizal
It challenges strong belief and faith in our national hero by adding some more “facts” about the true life of Rizal. Though it greatly differs on the way the story was communicated to the viewers. Bayaning 3rd World had this sort of documentary feel that made it look more credible. The opening part of the film looked like we’re about to watch an educational film for elementary students. The movie’s simplicity is just beautiful for it directly speaks for itself and clearly expresses the message to the viewers with a touch of humor.
I like the way they showed clips of how one thing could’ve happened and how they added some funny details in it. It was very amusing and very reminiscent of the distinctive Filipino humor. The movie also showed the classic “pilosopo” in Rizal and in every Filipino too. It was so true to the culture. One thing I also liked about the film is that they found a way to make those boring but precious historical letters and documents easy to understand and made it very interesting even to those who are really not history enthusiasts. They showed the letters and documents through face to face interviews with those particularly involved persons who were already dead decades ago and were able to extract a different point of view from these historical figures. This makes the movie more fascinating and quite puzzling. It somehow distorts the ever so perfect image of our dearest national hero but reminded us that he, too, is a human being capable of typical human error and weakness like us. It was like an overlapping time setting. I really like the concept and how it was so intelligently expressed.
The retraction of Rizal was clearly a very controversial issue for history enthusiasts. I, for one, don’t really get the importance of such document. I don’t think that Rizal’s greatness would be compromised by a mere renunciation of beliefs and principles that he so strongly held on to before. The fact that he has already written and lived such wonderful works that have raised the slumbering patriotic spirits of the Filipino people should be enough to so beautifully commemorate his greatness. Whether he died as a Catholic Christian or Muslim or whatever, the fact that he so selflessly died for the Filipino people and for freedom still holds true and such memory of martyrdom shall remain in the hearts of the Filipino nation forevermore. Such spark that he already had ignited and which flames have burned the hearts of the whole nation cannot be denied. The fire has spread and one document, whether genuine or not, cannot possibly extinguish a fire that has already left ashes. Besides, I don’t think that he was really against the religion but rather against the abusive friars and rotten political system of the time, where the state and the church almost ruled as one. It was a time where rights were abused with the guise of deceitful and sometimes pointless religious practices. He was against the practices of those so-called divine authorities of the church and not the religion, rather, the faith itself. I don’t think the film really questioned Rizal’s heroism but rather divulged in the mostly overlooked intricate details of his life, which are still quite essential in understanding his true being and the very core by which his works and writings were based.
Rizal was everything he was meant to be. He tapped into every endeavor he could set his sights on and has clearly reached the peak of such potentials. What made him great is not that he was a very gifted person but that he decided to persevere and work hard in all the fields he was interested in without stepping on anybody and, better yet, using such gifts in the service of fellow Filipinos and for the love of the country. He was so true to himself and really was determined to be everything he could be despite all the difficulties of the Spanish period. Nothing could get in his way to the fulfillment of his dreams. He was full of unconditional love and driven with relentless passion. His family members knew him well and had supported him all the way. Dr. Jose Rizal really is the epitome of sheer Filipino greatness—a brilliant light that shall spark hope and shall shine for all eternity in the unfathomable depths of a true Filipino heart.
The characters were very authentic and effective. It was so natural and convincing. The truly dedicated filmmakers had really strong personalities with such amusing humor that is unmistakably “Pinoy”. I think every Filipino can relate to this film’s humor and sense of activism. We, Filipinos, despite our young history have gone through a lot of cruel past. That’s why I think some sense of activism and desire for complete independence and own pride lurks within us already. That makes this film so appealing and evocative. It is really strong, poignant, brilliant and may just be one of our movie industry’s lasting masterpieces. Bayaning 3rd World as a film of substance is definitely something to be proud of.