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a wonderful post-modern interpretation of a hero's life
This film uses the example of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, in order to call into question the myth-making process, and it problematizes the very method of writing history.
It is a meta-film, of sorts, presented from the perspective of two film-makers who are hoping to "reconstruct" the life of Rizal as a "mystery movie", which answers the many questions that mainstream history conveniently "forgets about", in its efforts to characterize Rizal as a hero.
Director Mike DeLeon tries his hand at pastiche film-making, using a post-modern mix of mock commercials, archival historical footage, stylized re-creations of past events, and conventional narrative film-making. The end result is a cinematic patchwork that is alternately funny, enlightening, and smart, without ever coming across as too high-brow or pretentious.
Quite frankly, this film is so complex that my words alone cannot do it justice. If you are at all interested in Rizal, historiography, or how a hero is "made"-- go watch this now, if you can!
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