The Spaniards colonized us through religion, converting native Filipinos into Christians…

The Americans seduced us with the promise of Democracy and Freedom…

Which leads us to the question: What does it really mean to be a Filipino without the influences of our colonial masters?

This movie was made for our generation, maybe to give us a glimpse of what it means to be Filipino.

Amigo tells the lost story of what really happened during the Philippine – American War in the 1900’s.

I first got a glimpse of this part of our country’s history from the pictures exhibited in Leon Apacible’s ancestral house in Taal.

I couldn’t believe how brutal the Americans were based on the pictures showing scenes of torture and brutality.

I couldn’t reconcile it with our brainwashed images of the US as our liberator (from the almost-400-year colonization of Spain) and as our friend, who gave us democracy.

“The end of an insurgent. The Americans treated those who continue to defy their authority as plain criminals and many of them were executed by hanging.”

I took a picture of this old photo and wondered about the story behind it.

Amigo The Movie captures this period in time through the story and dilemma of Rafael Dacanay (brilliantly played by Joel Torre). As the head of his barrio, he is torn between obeying his American masters and supporting his brother’s quest for true freedom from the colonizers.

It is best to watch it without reading the synopsis or overall plot of the story.

Official Amigo Trailer (see Amigo Video)

Through the eyes of John Sayles (Amigo‘s director, writer and editor), it was also interesting to see:

our unique Filipino traits…

the Filipiniana clothing during those times…

the fiesta of San Isidro Labrador…

lechon as the center of the celebration..

our love for sabong

the rhyming beauty of our Tagalog words…

and our natural tendency to joke around and be “green”. 🙂

Amigo Perspective from John Sayles, Maggie Renzi, Joel Torre (see Amigo Perspective Video)

This is highly recommended for:

  • Filipinos who want to understand our roots;
  • Foreigners who want to understand the Filipino culture;
  • People who would like to understand the Philippine-American War as a prelude to the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam Wars; and
  • the Young Generation on a quest to reclaim what it truly means to be Filipino.

Amigo The Movie opens today, July 6, in all theaters in Manila and premieres in the US on August 19.

Please let me know what you think of the movie in the comments section.

To all the Filipinos out there: Don’t miss it!

Amigo The Movie
Official Website: Amigo The Movie
Blog: John Sayles’ Blog
Facebook: Amigo The Movie


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Full Disclosure: We watched the preview of Amigo.

P.S. This movie is PG-13. Kids can watch it with parental supervision.