Luce con galas mil
–Jose Rizal, Junto al Pasig
[Yoink! Poem was here, and has since been revised.]
Here, the italicized Spanish verse is Jose Rizal’s opening chorus to Junto al Pasig. Not sure what else I can offer by way of explanation. As far as the effect of my lines pushing up on Rizal’s lines, I’ll leave that all to you to decide.
I was hoping I’d see someone else; not you,
suffocating your children in your full skirt’s
folded barbs. Hooded ladrones, bones
jutting, skin abscessed, discarded bodies.
At your banks, dengue fever swarms, thirsting.
Flowers with basura drift, toxic, silted, rank.
Into your murmuring waters, Rizal’s moon once
spilled his verse, and your whims once swallowed
bridges alive. Now, we sing your dirge, snaking
giant, you who named our fathers’ tongue.
[Continuation of my previous post on Diaz-Abaya's film, Jose Rizal.]
Here is the firing squad execution scene. No surprises on the film’s ending. I will say that getting to the execution, post faux trial is well paced and wonderfully wrought.
OK. Back to my original question of who Marilou Diaz-Abaya envisioned as a target audience for Jose Rizal. DVD extras tell us this film’s budget was phenomenal by Philippine standards, and that the film was commissioned by the National Centennial Commission. Producers tell us that they wanted to prove to the rest of the world that Philippine filmmakers could also make meticulous and beautiful (by international standards) works of art. I think this international focus is apparent in the writing, which is something of a comprehensive and poetic historical overview, which is different from a “history lesson.”
File this under Why Am I Only Watching This Now? We started watching Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Jose Rizal (1998) yesterday evening. We didn’t finish it yesterday evening because the film is nearly three hours long.
I’ve come across Philippines based Francis Cruz’s review of Jose Rizal, and it helps with some of the things I am thinking. As a Filipino American, with only very limited study of the man and his role as a writer whose works helped inspire the Philippine Revolution, I should confess I appreciate the film’s very textbookishness which Cruz criticizes for its being relatively unoriginal. As Cruz discusses the film’s narrative but non-linear, flashback abundant structure as “uncharacteristic for a film that targets the Philippine mass as its audience,” I wonder if the target audience really is the Philippine masses?