El Filibusterismo (film)

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El Filibusterismo (1962) is the 1962 film adaptation of national hero Jose Rizal's second novel, written in 1891. It was directed by National Artist Gerardo de Leon.



Juan Crisostomo Ibarra has changed his name and identity to a rich jeweller named Simoun. In disguise, he travels the world amassing wealth, which he intends to use to topple the corrupt and abusive regime in his native land. But Simoun's real motive is personal. He wants to rescue his beloved, Maria Clara, from the convent and avenge the death of his father. In a forest on Christmas Eve, Basilio, a medical student recognizes Simoun's true identity as the man who helped bury his mother Sisa more than ten years before, under a tree. Simoun is in the forest to retrieve the gems he buried near Sisa's grave.

Basilio's fiancee is Juli, the daughter of landowner Tales, a law-abiding man impoverished after a land grab by a Spanish priest. Tales is kidnapped for ransom by bandits. Juli is forced to sell her jewelry and go to work as a servant.

Simoun plots with Basilio, the bandits and those citizens who have legitimate grievances against the government and the Spanish friars to incite a general uprising. Hours before the uprising is to begin, Maria Clara dies in the convent and Kapitan Tiago, the adoptive father of Maria Clara, also dies, a victim of drugs. The uprising is aborted. Basilio, who freed Juli from slavery, is jailed, along with some of the students. Juli seeks aid from a Spanish priest for Basilio's freedom. The priest attempts to rape her; she jumps to her death from a convent window.

As the film progresses, all the secrets and intrigues are revealed, and the plotters' plan fails. A good Filipino priest throws Simoun's jewels away, thereby eliminating the greed, violence and other evils they might have provoked.


El Filibusterismo garnered several FAMAS awards in 1962, including awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Story (Jose Rizal), Best Screenplay (Gerardo de Leon, Adrian Cristobal, and Jose Flores Sibal), Best Cinematography (Mike Accion), Best Sound (Louis Reyes), and Best Musical Score (Tito Arevalo).






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