José Rizal (film)

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This article is about the 1998 film. For the Filipino national hero, see José Rizal.
José Rizal
Jose Rizal film poster.gif
Directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Produced by Gilberto Duavit
Felipe Gozon
Menardo Jimenez
Written by Ricky Lee
Jun Lana
Peter Ong Lim
Starring Cesar Montano
Joel Torre
Jaime Fabregas
Gloria Diaz
Gardo Versoza
Pen Medina
Mickey Ferriols
Music by Nonong Buencamino
Cinematography Rody Lacap
Edited by Jess Navarro
Manet Dayrit
Distributed by GMA Films
Release dates
June 12, 1998 (as part of the Philippine Centennial celebrations)
December 25, 1998 (theatrical release)
Running time
178 minutes
Country Philippines
  • English
  • Filipino
  • Spanish
  • German
Budget 80 million (estimated)
Box office ₱96 million

José Rizal is a 1998 Filipino biographical film of the Filipino national hero José Rizal directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya and starring Cesar Montano as José Rizal.

At the time of its release, it was the most expensive film in the history of Filipino cinema with a budget of over 80 million. The film was an official entry to the 1998 Metro Manila Film Festival. Upon release, the film met universal critical acclaim.


José Rizal was imprisoned in Fort Santiago under the abusive Spanish colonization. José Rizal was approached by a young uneducated Austronesian peoples asking the importance of education during his life. Meanwhile, in Balintawak, Andrés Bonifacio and his fellow secret organization of Katipunan commenced the uprising against the tyranny created by the Spaniards by tearing their cedula as a sign of Spanish slavery.

Soon, a first lieutenant of the Artillery, Luis Taviel de Andrade, visited Rizal. Taviel de Andrade did not waste time to study carefully Rizal's case. In just a short period of time, Rizal and Taviel captured each other's sympathy and eventually became friends as they had usual meetings in Rizal's cell in Fort Santiago. Taviel was even able to celebrate Christmas with Rizal in the cell where they drank pan get and sang together.

After Christmas, Rizal was sent to Royal Audiencia (the colonial court of appeal) to hear the trial against him. Soon after, the magistrates decided to condemn him under firing squad on the 30th of the morning in Luneta.

At the night before the execution, Rizal hallucinates, seeing his alter egoprotagonist Simoun of his novel El Filibusterismo tempting the author to change the climax of the story.

On the morning of the execution, his kin received a small alcohol stove (not a gas lamp as commonly portrayed) from his cell containing the last poem "Mi Ultimo Adios". Stopping at the place of execution facing the rising sun, Rizal asked the authorities for a last request as he faces the firing squad but the request is denied. Calm and without haste, he changed his request to save his head during execution and the captain agrees. At the moment the shooting squad points at his back, he readily uttered his final words: Consummatum est ("It is done").

After the execution, members of the Katipunan had ambushed a Spanish military company somewhere in Manila, completely catching the Spanish forces off guard and seized their mounts, munitions and their rifles. They had also captured a church and executed a friar in an act of vengeance for the execution of Rizal. Bonifacio and his top generals met in their headquarters to plan a new offensive seeking to capture 10 towns in a duration of 1 week from the Spanish. Rizal's picture can be seen at the background of his headquarters.


Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1999 FAMAS Awards
    • Best Picture
    • Best Actor (Cesar Montano)
    • Best Director (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
    • Best Supporting Actor (Jaime Fabregas)
    • Best Cinematography (Rody Lacap)
    • Best Editing (Jess Navarro and Manet A. Dayrit)
    • Best Movie Theme Song (Nonong Buencamino for "Awit ni Maria Clara")
    • Best Musical Direction (Nonong Buencamino)
    • Best Production Design (Leo Abaya)
    • Best Screenplay (Ricardo Lee, Jun Lana and Peter Ong Lim)
    • Best Special Effects (Rolando Santo Domingo)
  • 1999 Gawad Urian Awards
    • Best Direction (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
    • Best Cinematography (Rody Lacap)
    • Best Music (Nonong Buencamino)
    • Best Production Design (Leo Abaya)
    • Best Sound (Albert Michael Idioma)
    • Best actress (Gorgonia Del Rivaera)
    • Best Supporting Actor (Jaime Fabregas)
  • 1999 Star Awards for Movies
    • Movie of the Year
    • Actor of the Year (Cesar Montano)
    • Director of the Year (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
    • Supporting Actor of the Year (Jaime Fabregas)
    • Adapted Screenplay of the Year (Ricardo Lee, Jun Lana and Peter Ong Lim)
    • Editor of the Year (Jess Navarro and Manet A. Dayrit)
    • Musical Scorer of the Year (Nonong Buencamino)
    • Production Designer of the Year (Leo Abaya)
    • Sound Engineering of the Year (Albert Michael Idioma)

The film has been screened and ran in competition in different film festivals worldwide and included in the Official Selection for Panorama in the Berlin International Film Festival (1998). It also won 2nd runner-up in the Audience Award of the Toronto Filmfest and the Chicago International Film Festival.[citation needed]


The series was released onto DVD-format and VCD-format by GMA Records.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]