MANILA, Philippines In celebration of this year’s National Heroes Day, “Heneral Luna” held its advance screening at the Anthology Film Archives in Lower East Manhattan on August 30.
The movie played in a packed theater of Filipino-American community members as well as Philippine history buffs and film enthusiasts.
The movie impressed the Filipino-American viewers, young and old, as it portrayed a patriotic, blunt and poetic Heneral Luna. “The film ‘Heneral Luna’ is compelling as it exposes Luna’s heroism through his confrontational anti-heroism acts,” a viewer said.
“A significant and powerful film that must be watched, especially by the younger ones,” a community leader added.
As described in history texts, General Luna was a military officer gifted with a quick mind but burdened with an equally quick temper which often caused conflict within the revolutionaries’ ranks, including then Foreign Affairs Secretary Apolinario Mabini and even President Emilio Aguinaldo himself.
During the talk back, Luis Francia, Hunter University history professor and author of “A History of the Philippines From Indios Bravos to Filipinos,” noted how rich the Philippines was in stories yet untold or rarely made into films.
He also remarked on the tribalism that led to grave divisions in the revolutionary movement and the consequent assassinations of Antonio Luna, Andres Bonifacio and others, a critical factor which led to the revolution’s eventual defeat. He said such mentality remained a challenge in the Philippines today.
Consul General Mario de Leon Jr.commended the Filipino community organizers for making the film screening a reality in New York, and expressed appreciation as well to writer and co-producer Ed Rocha and Francisco Ortigas and its Director Jerrold Tarog for sharing the film to the audience through its advance screening in New York.
In the Philippines, the historical film “Heneral Luna,” will open in theaters on September 9.