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Lautaro Torres
Lautaro Torres

Free Download: Martyr or Murderer, a Film by Darryl Yap, Exposing the Secrets of the Marcos-Aquino Rivalry


Martyr or Murderer: A Review of the Controversial Film




If you are a fan of Philippine history and politics, you might have heard of the film Martyr or Murderer, which was released in 2023. The film is a sequel to Maid in Malacañang, which chronicled the final days of the Marcos family before they were ousted from power in 1986. Martyr or Murderer explores the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, the rival of Ferdinand Marcos, and how it sparked the People Power Revolution that toppled the dictatorship. It also delves into the life of the Marcoses in exile, especially Imee Marcos, who was involved in some scandals and intrigues in Morocco.




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The film has been met with mixed reactions from critics and audiences alike. Some praised it for its bold and daring portrayal of one of the most turbulent periods in Philippine history, while others criticized it for its inaccurate and biased depiction of the events and characters. In this article, I will review the film and give my honest opinion on its merits and flaws. I will also discuss some of the main themes and messages that the film conveys, and how they relate to the current situation in the Philippines.


Introduction




What is Martyr or Murderer?




Martyr or Murderer is a drama film directed by Darryl Yap, who also wrote and directed Maid in Malacañang. The film stars Cesar Montano as Ferdinand Marcos, Isko Moreno as Ninoy Aquino, Ruffa Gutierrez as Imelda Marcos, Cristine Reyes as Imee Marcos, Diego Loyzaga as Bongbong Marcos, and Ella Cruz as Irene Marcos. The film is part of a trilogy that focuses on the Marcos family and their role in Philippine history. The first film, Maid in Malacañang, was released in 2022 and was a huge box office hit. The third film, which is yet to be announced, will reportedly cover the return of the Marcoses to Philippine politics after their exile.


Why is it controversial?




The film is controversial because it deals with a sensitive and divisive topic in Philippine society: the legacy of Ferdinand Marcos and his regime. Marcos ruled the Philippines for 21 years, from 1965 to 1986, and declared martial law in 1972 to suppress dissent and opposition. He was accused of committing human rights violations, corruption, plunder, nepotism, cronyism, and electoral fraud during his tenure. He was also blamed for plunging the country into economic crisis and social unrest.


On August 21, 1983, Ninoy Aquino, a former senator and a vocal critic of Marcos, was assassinated at the Manila International Airport upon his return from exile in the United States. His death sparked a massive public outrage and a series of protests that culminated in the EDSA Revolution of February 1986, which forced Marcos to flee to Hawaii with his family. Aquino became a national hero and a symbol of democracy for many Filipinos.


However, not everyone agrees on this narrative. Some people still support Marcos and his achievements, such as building infrastructure projects, promoting national unity and identity, strengthening foreign relations, and implementing social reforms. They also question Aquino's motives and integrity, and claim that he was not a martyr but a traitor who conspired with communists and foreign powers to overthrow Marcos. They also allege that he was not killed by Marcos' men but by his own allies who wanted to use his death as a pretext for a coup.


The film tries to present both sides of the story, but it also takes some creative liberties and adds some fictional elements that may not be based on facts or What are the main themes and messages of the film?




The film tries to explore the complex and controversial history of the Philippines under the Marcos regime, and how it affected the lives of the people involved. The film also raises some questions about the nature of power, corruption, justice, truth, and heroism. Some of the themes and messages that the film conveys are:


  • The ambiguity and subjectivity of history. The film shows that there are different versions and interpretations of what happened during the martial law era, depending on who is telling the story and what their agenda is. The film does not claim to present the absolute truth, but rather invites the viewers to think critically and form their own opinions.



  • The humanization and dehumanization of the Marcoses and Aquino. The film portrays the Marcoses and Aquino as complex and flawed human beings, rather than as caricatures or stereotypes. The film shows their strengths and weaknesses, their motivations and emotions, their achievements and failures, their virtues and vices. The film also shows how they were affected by the circumstances and pressures that they faced, and how they influenced and were influenced by others.



  • The consequences and costs of political violence. The film depicts the brutality and bloodshed that occurred during the martial law era, and how it impacted the lives of millions of Filipinos. The film shows the suffering and trauma of the victims of human rights violations, as well as the guilt and remorse of some of the perpetrators. The film also shows how political violence can create a cycle of hatred, revenge, and more violence.



  • The importance and challenge of reconciliation and healing. The film suggests that in order to move forward as a nation, the Philippines needs to confront its past and seek justice for the victims of martial law. The film also suggests that reconciliation and healing require forgiveness, compassion, dialogue, and understanding among all parties involved.



Plot summary




The assassination of Ninoy Aquino




The film begins with a flashback to August 21, 1983, when Ninoy Aquino was shot dead at the Manila International Airport upon his arrival from exile in the United States. The film shows how his assassination sparked a massive public outrage and a series of protests that culminated in the EDSA Revolution of February 1986, which forced Marcos to flee to Hawaii with his family.


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The film then shifts to a present-day scene where Imee Marcos (Cristine Reyes) is being interviewed by a journalist (Ryza Cenon) about her involvement in the assassination. Imee denies any knowledge or participation in the plot, and claims that she was in Morocco at that time with her boyfriend Mark Chua (JC Santos). She also accuses Ninoy of being a traitor who conspired with communists and foreign powers to overthrow her father.


The film then shows a series of flashbacks that reveal what really happened before, during, and after the assassination. The flashbacks show how Ninoy was planning to return to the Philippines to challenge Marcos in a snap election, despite knowing the risks involved. The flashbacks also show how Marcos was facing a deteriorating health condition, a crumbling economy, a growing opposition movement, and a loss of support from his allies.


The flashbacks also show how Imee was secretly involved in orchestrating the assassination with the help of her boyfriend Mark Chua, who was actually an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The flashbacks show how Imee hired a group of assassins led by Rolando Galman (Rocco Nacino) to kill Ninoy at the airport. The flashbacks also show how Imee framed Galman as a communist hitman who acted alone. The downfall of the Marcoses




The film then shows how the


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