Critique Paper — Heneral Luna

1. What was the message the filmmaker wanted to convey through the film?

In the film Heneral Luna, the filmmaker was trying to show that Filipinos are seeking for independence. Independence was cruelly snatched away from the Filipinos who fought so hard for independence from Spain. And for $20 million, the country was sold by Spain to America. It wasn’t an insurrection. It was a war of independence from two colonial masters and this film pays honor and respect to Antonio Luna, one of the men who boldly stood against imperialism. The film also has generated a firestorm of interest and admiration. I saw how brave Heneral Luna is. Others thought that he is so abusive but he’s not. All he wants is what’s best for his country and kapwa Filipinos. I was inspired because only few people really do stand for their own country. It’s hard to die for your country. Some will say “The hell I care?”

2. Was the film engaging? How so?

The film was spectacular. They were able to show the old “Philippines” like in the time where the Americans conquered our country. The script is clever and it flows. Scenes do not drag especially in the long exchange between Luna and Tomas Mascardo. And it brings something so Filipino to the film — finding humor in the bleakest of situations. For example, the train station scene was absolutely hilarious! But it never gets out of hand, never trivializes the incident or the story and it quickly veers back on course. They were in the middle of a war after all.

3. What was the ‘function of art’ being fulfilled by the film

The function of art that was fulfilled in the film were the historical events that happened in our country. The piece of Juan Luna’s, Spolarium, was based on the Philippine setting. The American soldiers killing Filipinos and many more.

4. Describe the aesthetic experience you’ve encountered while watching the film, if there is any?

I’ve encountered goose bumps in this film. It was really great. The beauty and art that I saw in every single scene made me have to feel that aesthetic experience. Every attitude an American and a Filipino has was conveyed in this film.

5. What/Who does “Joven Hernandez, Jr”?

Joven Hernandez, Jr represents unity and the new generation of the Filipinos which needs protection and importance. As a youth, he keeps on interviewing because it says in the film that we, the youth, should know more better about our country. we should not just stand there and watch others die. We should help even in our own little ways.

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