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José Rizal (1998)

Jose Rizal's life and works are recounted through a series of non-linear flashbacks which reflect on various aspects of his life - as writer, propagandist, lover, friend, brother, doctor, and the man that inspired a revolution.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
44 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ibarra / Simoun
Teodora Alonso
Andres Bonifacio
Monique Wilson ...
Maria Clara
Josephine Bracken
Leonor Rivera
Paciano Mercado
Peque Gallaga ...
Archbishop Bernardo Nozaleda, OP
Bon Vibar ...
Alexis Santaren ...
Chiqui Xerxes-Burgos ...
Father Villaclara (as Chiqui Xeres Burgos)


Jose Rizal's life and works are recounted through a series of non-linear flashbacks which reflect on various aspects of his life - as writer, propagandist, lover, friend, brother, doctor, and the man that inspired a revolution.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What matters death if one dies for what one loves, for native land and cherished ones?


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Parents Guide:




Release Date:

25 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jose Rizal  »


Box Office


PHP 80,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Shown on 12 June 1998, the movie was one of the highlights of festivities for the Philippine Centennial celebrations. See more »


José Rizal: Ikinulong nila, pinatay nila, hinukay sa libingan, itinapon; ganyan ang ginawa ng iyong mga kababayan sa karangalan at kasaysayan ng aking mga kalahi!
Luis Taviel de Andrade: Hindi naman siguro ganoon kasama ang lahat Senor Rizal...
José Rizal: Ilang taon ka na ba rito sa Pilipinas Taviel?
Luis Taviel de Andrade: Bakit?
José Rizal: Pareho ba tayo ng nakikita? O meron kang ayaw makita?
See more »


Marcha de Cadiz
(Courtesy of the Instituto Cervantes)
Arranged by Chino Toledo
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User Reviews

Marilou Diaz-Abaya proves women directors can come up with epic gems!
14 April 2001 | by See all my reviews

Established Filipino director Marilou Diaz-Abaya apparently saw lots of promise in Cesar Montano and cast him as her José Rizal; I can think of better actors but otherwise her film is a visually dazzling, well-mounted biography of a Filipino hero. Cesar Montano enthusiastically bites into the quintessential role of José Rizal, with impressive Spanish lines and good affectations. He made Filipino viewers forget his beginnings as a vapid bold actor. 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz is luminous as José Rizal's mom (winning a Best Supporting Actress MMFF award, her first in 29 years), yet her scenes are actually too brief to be considered memorable. Pen Medina, Subas Herrero, Ronnie Lazaro and (MMFF Supporting Actor winner) Jaime Fabregas lend okay support. Gardo Versoza, Tony Mabesa and Joel Torre (usually reliable thespians) are lacklustre here; Versoza's "Andres Bonifacio" is ludicrous. Chin Chin Gutierrez (as the complex character "Josephine Bracken"), acclaimed Broadway actress Monique Wilson (as fictional "Maria Clara") and starlet Mickey Ferriols are totally wasted here. We don't learn anything at all about Bracken, the love interest of Rizal. The effectively moody music of Nonong Buencamino won an award, and I also liked the lavish sets and costumes, starkly beautiful cinematography by Rody Lacap and the stunning visual effects by Mark Ambat. The Ricardo Lee-Jun Lana-Peter Ong Lim script is muddled and lacks a strong dramatic structure (conversations seeming to lead somewhere interesting are left suspended, and questions posed by the characters are never addressed at all) and the novelty of having the real-life José Rizal interact with the lead character of his novel is more confusing than engrossing. The script displays blatant biases, fallacies (a matter of opinion) and a ludicrous "deus ex machina;" it weighs down to actor Montano to carry the film with his insightful delineation of a favorite, if little-understood national hero. Marilou Diaz-Abaya has proven that women directors can come up with substantial gems in filmdom.

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