NEW YORK — A special screening of “Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio” will be held November 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Directed by Mario O’Hara, a multi-awarded writer, director and actor, whose credits as writer-director include Mortal, Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, Mga Bilanggong Birhen, Kastilyong Buhangin, Bakit Bughaw ang Langit, Condemned, Mga Bulaklak ng City Jail (direction only), Fatima Buen Story (direction only), Three Mothers One Child, Babae sa Bubungang Lata, Sisa, and Babae sa Breakwater, the film “will examine and look at the hearts of two heroes”, namely Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo.
O’Hara says that there “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.”
“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?,” O’Hara said.
The film attempts to present the role that each hero played during the Philippine Revolution as “it is the responsibility of each generation to correct the mistakes written in our history. We no longer live in ancient Greece and Babylon where history is carved along the palace walls to proclaim the greatness of their leaders. Nor do we live in China where they hide inside their great wall, keeping the world ignorant of the killings in their towns and villages. Countries such as these have already crumbled.”
O’Hara continued: “A country must be founded on truth, for it is the most lasting foundation. Each of us must do our share to rid our country of the garbage that infests it. Let us wash our history, so that the youth may discern our story with clarity…the depth, the length, and the strength of the characters that play the part of our heroes. Let us wash away the mud that has been thrown by incompetent historians whose names we see on our textbooks. Let us cleanse the corpses of our heroes so we may find the secret that lies within their hearts. Every Filipino must examine this so he may know his people. Its strengths and weaknesses.”
O’Hara began his career in the early 1970s acting for Lino Brocka in such films as Santiago; Tubog sa Ginto; Stardoom; Tinimbang Ka, Nguni’t Kulang; Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa; and Tahan na Empoy, Tahan.
His screenwriting credits for Lino Brocka include Lumuha Pati mga Anghel; Tinimbang Ka, Ngunit Kulang; Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa; Insiang; Hayop sa Hayop; and Rubia Servios. He also wrote the screenplay for Laurice Guillen’s Kasal?.
His 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, as well as O’Hara’s reunion with Aunor and Christopher de Leon whom he directed to lasting acclaim in 1976.