Jose’s family doesn’t want Josephine Bracken to be his wife because they call her “kire” and also, she lacks intellectual capacity. Another conflict is when Josephine Bracken stands that she’s Jose Rizal’s wife so she’s worth it of Rizal’s works. The other conflict is if Josephine Bracken really loved Dr. Jose Rizal or she’s just a spy or bridge used by the Spanish priests for Rizal’s retraction. The heated argument between the two film makers because of the retraction issue.
Jose Rizal wanted to marry Josephine Bracken, his last lover, and the one he loved so much and the only way to marry her is to make a retraction paper since he was a member of Masonry. According to the film, a retraction paper was submitted even without Jose’s signature. It became the climax of the film because we all know Jose Rizal doesn’t believe in church’ system but he believes in God and according to the retraction paper, Jose is asking for apology because of what he did towards the Catholic Church during his life, through his works, writings and even how he thinks about the church. In the letter, it is also included that he abominates Masonry because it opposes what church teaches. According to the interview of the two film makers with Doña Lolay and Paciano, they believed that Rizal did not retract because it was inconsistent to what he believed in. They also said that Rizal went abroad (away from his family), wrote a lot of nationalistic poems, essays, and novels, joined several groups, sacrificed his love life many times and all for one main goal: to give justice and equality for the Filipinos, meaning he will not really retract.
His sisters, Narcisa and Trinidad, on the other hand, gave ambiguous, inconclusive and inconsistent testimonies. It was not clear whether they believed that Rizal retracted or not. The last person they interviewed was Father Balaguer, the one who is responsible in releasing the said Retraction Paper and said that Jose gave himself back to Catholicism. After some time, since the two film makers were just creating images in their minds, they suddenly heard Narcisa and Trining and visualize that there was a lamp in front of the two and opened it. It contained a rolled paper which is said to be a poem made by Jose for his sisters.
An image of Josephine Bracken entered the scene and claims that it’s for her and said that she was already married to Jose so meaning the poem inserted in the lamp was for her. Since Bracken became very uncontrolled. The film makers started to ask her questions like if she was molested by her stepfather which will give a question that if the baby is from really Rizals’. Because of the unanswerable questions, the two decided to ask Jose Rizal and just arrived in releasing of different emotions rather that a continuation of their said “investigation”. They just saw a smoking Rizal and said that they still don’t know him.
Because they don’t get the answers that they need through their very creative imagination, the nearing end just showed the two film makers standing in front of Rizal’s monument and contemplating on the dilemma if they will still continue to do the film or not. The movie just ended by the film makers’ line “Mahirap basagin yan! ”.
“…ang paghahangad ng karunugan ay halos isang krimen” Donya Teodora
“…sa halip na pagkakaisa, ang naitatanim ay alitang sumisira sa karapatan at katotohanan”
I’ve based by comments from the fact that it’s first shown way back 2000 and we all know, it’s kinda different already.
I found the direction great since they use a very creative way of creating such film in a way which was still understandable by the viewers of the movie. Cinematography:
It was a film which is black and white which really helped in letting the viewers feel that it really happened long time ago. It was a great idea since it’s still have clear reception.
I found the script different and cool because it’s a way different from other films because even though a hero’s life Is but a serious topic, they still include some lines that will make it humorous.
I don’t edit well so I really don’t know how to criticize this thing but since I understand the movie, the editing is awesome maybe?
Applause for the costume of those people beyond the film makers: Narcisa, Trinidad, Donya Teodora, Jose, Josephine, Father Balaguer, etc. It really showed the true image of the past Filipinos. I appreciate the beauty of the costumes even though the film was black and white.
Set design is cool maybe because the theme black and white helped a lot in achieving this. It really looked like decades ago.
Score or Soundtrack:
The score and soundtrack of the film is nice because it compliments all the parts of the movie. It changed if its in a humorous part which helps in adding the effect.