Here is a list of Filipino films and documentaries to watch as the Philippines marks its 124th observance of Independence Day this June 2022.
In the Philippines, Independence Day is celebrated annually on June 12, a day to remember the brave men and women who fought for the Filipinos’ freedom and the sacrifices that led to the country’s declaration of independence from tyranny and foreign rule.
As the national holiday approaches, consider taking the time to get to know some of the most important historical figures from the country’s rich and tumultuous past, as well as ordinary citizens and journalists in these modern times who continue to fight for the freedoms we enjoy in the present.
Here are some must-see films and documentaries by Filipinos that highlight the importance of freedom and democracy:
Filipino history documentaries on the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) contain various informative videos and documentaries about popular national heroes and the Martial Law era under the Marcos regime in the Philippines.
Six documentaries about Filipino heroes Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Emilio Jacinto, Gregoria de Jesus, and the women of the Philippine revolution are shared on the NHCP’s YouTube channel to educate those yet unfamiliar with their stories or serve as a refresher for history buffs and learners alike.
Aside from the Filipino heroes’ documentaries, the NHCP has also done a 10-episode series on Martial Law detailing the human rights violations and abuses during the Marcos regime in the country.
Each episode in the Martial Law series runs from 2 to 3 minutes long.
Watch the videos on the NHCP YouTube channel here.
Heneral Luna (2015) is a popular Philippine historical biopic film starring award-winning international actor John Arcilla as the titular General Antonio Luna and his fight for freedom during the Philippine-American War.
“Heneral Luna” depicts the life and death of General Antonio Luna, a commander of the Filipino revolutionary army who battled with both Spanish and United States of America forces until his assassination.
The film triggered the Filipino general’s surge of popularity among the youth and was even made into a character for the fighting video game Bayani: Kanino Ka Kakampi. The biopic also became the country’s bet to the Oscars the year it was released.
The critically acclaimed independent historical fiction film about the Filipino general is now available on the popular online streaming site Netflix.
Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018) is the sequel to the 2015 biopic film that chronicled General Antonio Luna’s life. The film follows the events in the Philippine revolution after Luna’s death and is about General Gregorio “Goyo” del Pilar, one of the youngest generals in the Philippine revolutionary Forces who ever lived.
The second installment of the war trilogy directed by Jerrold Tarog is available on the streaming platform Netflix.
Jose Rizal (1998) The life story of the Filipino nationalist and polymath, Jose Rizal, is directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya and starred Cesar Montano. It earned numerous awards, citations, and nominations from various festivals and award-giving bodies in the Philippines and abroad.
Liway (2018) is a Filipino independent film about a mother trying to keep hope alive for her young son inside a Martial Law-era prison for political detainees.
CHECK OUT these documentaries and films on Philippine history being screened for free and accessible online to Filipinos.
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