Jose Rizal (film)

From Wikipilipinas
Jump to navigation Jump to search

José Rizal is a 1998 Filipino biographical film of the Filipino patriot José Rizal, directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya and starring Cesar Montano as José Rizal.

At the time of its release, it was the most expensive film in the history of Filipino cinema with a budget of over Template:Philippine Peso. The film was an official entry to the 1998 Metro Manila Film Festival.


José Rizal was imprisoned in Fort Santiago under the abusive Spanish colonization. Meanwhile, in Balintawak, Andrés Bonifacio and his fellow secret organization, the Katipunan, commenced the uprising against the tyranny created by the Spaniards by tearing their cédula as a sign of freedom from the Spanish slavery.

Soon, a first lieutenant of the Artillery, Luis Taviel de Andrade, visits Rizal. Taviel de Andrade did not waste time to study carefully Rizal's case. In just a short period of time, Rizal and Taviel captured each other's sympathy and eventually became friends as they had usual meetings in Rizal's cell in Fort Santiago. Taviel was even able to celebrate Christmas with Rizal in the cell where they drank pan get and sang together.

After Christmas, Rizal was sent to the Real Audiencia, the colonial court of appeal, to hear the trial against him. Soon after, the magistrates decided to condemn him under firing squad on the 30th of the morning in Luneta.

At the night before the execution, Rizal hallucinates, seeing his alter egoprotagonist, Crisostomo "Simoun" Ibarra, from his second book, El Filibusterismo, tempting him to change the climax of the novel.

On the morning of his execution, his kin receives a small alcohol stove (not a gas lamp as commonly portrayed) from his cell containing the last poem "Mi último adiós". Stopping at the place of execution facing the rising sun, Rizal requested the authorities for him to face the firing squad, but the request was denied. Calm and without haste, he requested to have his head spared instead and the captain agrees. At the moment the shooting squad points at his back, he readily uttered his final words: Consummatum est ("It is done").

In the events following Rizal's execution, members of the Katipunan begin their armed uprising, completely catching the Spanish forces off guard, seizing their mounts, munitions and rifles. After that, the organization captures a church and the members execute the friars in an act of vengeance. Later that night, Bonifacio and his top generals meet in their headquarters to plan a new offensive seeking to capture ten towns in a duration of one week from the Spaniards. As Bonifacio continues speaking, the camera pans to Rizal's picture at the wall of his headquarters before revealing Rizal's hat which sat by the shores of Manila Bay, concluding with the text of events that transpired after his death.


Main cast

Rizal's family



The Spaniards



The Dominicans



The Jesuits

  • Chiqui Xerxes-Burgos as Father José Villaclara, S.J.
  • Shelby Payne as Father Estanislao March, S.J.
  • Minco Fábregas as Father Francisco de Paula Sanchez, S.J.

The Filipinos



The Filipino propagandists



Noli Me Tángere and El Filibusterismo characters



Other characters

  • Jesús Díaz as ophthalmology professor in Spain
  • Karl Meyer as Belgian printer
  • LJ Moreno as Josephine Bracken's companion



In 1994, there were efforts to produce a Hollywood feature film based on the life of José Rizal lead by director Cirio H. Santiago, then the head of the Film Development Foundation of the Philippines, with the approval of President Fidel V. Ramos. Actors who were reportedly considered for the project included Andy Garcia as Rizal, Winona Ryder as Josephine Bracken, and Sharon Cuneta as Leonor Rivera, with Jonathan Demme as director, though the project did not come to fruition.[1]


The series was released onto DVD-format and VCD-format by GMA Records Home Video and distributed by Viva Video.


The film has been screened and ran in competition in different film festivals worldwide and included in the Official Selection for Panorama in the Berlin International Film Festival (1998). It also won 2nd runner-up in the Audience Award of the Toronto Filmfest and the Chicago International Film Festival.Template:Citation needed


  1. Japitana, Norma. "Andy Garcia, Winona Ryder may star in Rizal pic", Manila Standard, Kamahalan Publishing Corp., June 8, 1994, p. 19. 



External links

Template:Marilou Diaz-Abaya Template:José Rizal