‘Paglilitis’ examines who is hero, villain in history

A scene from the wedding of Bonifacio

There will be a special screening of “Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio” on November 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue.

While the film is billed as the untold story of Bonifacio’s trial for treason under the 1897 revolutionary government of Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo, director Mario O’Hara said the story is essentially about the “hearts” of the two characters.

Mario O'Hara

“Everyone I ask knows that Emilio Aguinaldo (Philippines’ first president) had Andres Bonifacio (leader of then revolutionary group Katipunan) killed. Two Filipino heroes, yet one had the other assassinated. A hero killing another hero? How did this happen? Who is the real hero and who is the villain?” asked O’Hara. “This is what I have set out to do in this film; to examine and look at the hearts of two heroes.”

The film will examine Bonifacio’s role in history and his motivation for jumpstarting the revolution.

O’Hara continued: “There are those who say that Bonifacio was weak, with no knowledge of military strategy resulting in his inability to win a single battle. Yet others say that Aguinaldo coveted the presidency, so he took out the one man who could challenge him, the leader of the revolution.

“There are many gaps and mysteries within the history of these two warriors. As time passed, and with most of the survivors from their generation dying out, opinions and rumors would slowly surround their story, opinions and rumors that could be construed as truth by today’s youth.”

O’Hara, a multi-awarded writer, director and actor whose films have persistently spanned both high realism and avant-garde experimentation. He began his career in the early 1970s acting for Lino Brocka in such films as “Tubog sa Ginto,” “Tinimbang Ka, Nguni’t Kulang” and “Tahan na Empoy, Tahan.”

His credits as writer-director include “Mortal,” “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” and “Babae sa Breakwater,” among many notables. O’Hara’s latest directorial work is the 2011 TV series “Sa Ngalan ng Ina,” which marked Nora Aunor’s return to television after an eight-year hiatus in the United States.

For more details on “Paglilitis,” contact Merle Purugganan of the Philippine Consulate at 212-764-1330 ext 310.

One Comment

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