The official trailer:
IT TOOK Jun Reyes three years to do put together a 52-minute documentary on the last 10 days in the life of martyred opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr. from the time he left his family in Boston until he was felled by assassin’s bullets 26 years ago.
And it may well be the best way of retelling The Last Journey of Ninoy: As Told Through the Last Interview of Cory. What will now be known as the valedictory interview with Cory Aquino was captured on camera just a little over four months before her own death last August 1.
The digital docu-drama was born out of director Reyes’s desire to make a “timeless film” about Ninoy. He wanted “a film that will make him real to audiences who have never witnessed him alive nor remember him for what he has done—hoping to inspire future generations, to spread Ninoy’s ideals and to make him known as more than just the face on our 500-peso bill.”
“The film (is) told from two voices and points of view only: Ninoy’s and Cory’s. The stories of these two unique individuals—their struggles & victories, the transformation of Ninoy from a man-of-the-world to a spiritual man, and Cory as a loving witness to all these, (is) heard and seen throughout the film,” said Reyes, great grandson of the late Severino Reyes of the Lola Basyang fame.
The documentary became a fitting tribute to Ninoy and had its public screening at the Rockwell cinema in commemorating the 26th year of Ninoy Aquino’s death.
According to Rapa Lopa, project director of the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation, Inc., the film will be taken to the different colleges and universities across the country for viewing. This would be part of the campaign to create wider awareness on the sacrifices of Ninoy for democracy and freedom in the country.
“The past 25 years since Ninoy Aquino’s death have witnessed a creeping amnesia in the national psyche,” notes Lopa.
“Ninoy’s legacy of spiritual transformation, heroism and commitment to democracy has slowly been dissipated by the gradual erosion of our democratic institutions and the weakening of our collective initiative for change. The nation is experiencing the fading of memories of the historic struggles that led to the Filipino’s glorious shining moment.”
The Last Journey of Ninoy: As Told Through the Last Interview of Cory takes an intimate look at the man — his strengths and weaknesses, his triumphs and failures, his dreams and fears, as well as his simple joys as a husband and family man. It presents a tapestry of insights on the man and the martyr in particular, and about the Filipino people in general.
Bam Aquino, who was picked to portray Ninoy in the re-enactment of some scenes in the film, observes that Ninoy and Cory looked like they were finishing each other’s sentences in the way the events were presented using video clips of speeches of Ninoy and the interview of Cory done in March.
Bam’s father, Paul Aquino - younger brother of Ninoy - did the thought voice of Ninoy in the film. Both Bam and Paul were reluctant to do their respective parts, but were later persuaded upon learning that most of the people behind the project were doing it for free or for minimal fees.
Why did it take three years to make this film?
“Getting the funding was a challenge. Scripting and research took time also since it was a new format for us. Casting was likewise a challenge,” says Reyes.
The film has been rated General Patronage by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. It will be shown over ABS-CBN and ANC on Sunday, 10:30 p.m. as a tribute to both Ninoy and Cory.
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