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Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon: A Movie Review and Theme Analysis

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Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon: A Movie Review

Themes: Love and Friendship, Wealth and Knowledge, Respect and Recognition

For about four century of being a colonized island, the Philippines’ nationality, up until this day, is hardly defined. Our culture, traditions, and even our language are greatly influenced by our invaders. But I do believe that by understanding our roots we can understand more about who we really are. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? is a 1976 film written and directed by Eddie Romero, the National Artist for Film and Broadcasting Arts, starring Christopher De Leon and former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz. This is How We are Before, How Are You Now, the English translation of the film title, is not the only question that this film tries to answer. Through the adventures of a peasant, Nicholas “Kulas” Ocampo, the audience also come to know “What it is like to be a true Filipino?” In this paper is the enumerated definitions of the word Filipino and its significance that the characters in the film stated, and my reflective elaboration of those. Dir. Eddie Romero is successful in creating a masterpiece that narrates the history of the Filipino, the history of who we are. However, in the film. the word “Filipino” had different definitions.

The movie is set at the time of Spanish colonization nearing its end. There was a faithful portrayal of the Filipinos were in – the guardia sibil, the unexpected exchange of gunshots, the restless fear in Filipinos where ever they are to stay and the evident abusive superiority of Spanish race over Filipinos. Since it was the end of Spanish colonization, it was the time that small group of rebels comes forth. Spain is known to be a patriarchal country and they bring that kind of system here in the Philippines. It is presented in the film because there were no children in the streets and women were always inside the house.

Ganito Kami Noon Paano Kayo Ngayon follows a naive peasant through his leap of faith to become a member of an imagined community. An innocent "probinsyano", namely Kulas, turned into an epitome of wealth after helping a phony priest in saving his son and then in the end turning back to who he was at the beginning. The story uplifts and honors the label "Filipino" which shows who Filipinos really were and who we should be yesterday and today: dignified, innately benevolent and does good acts without asking for anything in return. In this film, I saw three main values: what happens when you do good unexceptionally, the honor of being a Filipino and the uncertainty of life's course.

Despite being an arthouse epic, it’s clear Romero is pitching himself directly at the Filipinos of today, putting them in the shoes of the naive peasant transformed by the exposure to diverse character archetypes that can be reflective of today’s diverse society. Romero exposed the audiences to the different characters and their different life agenda and things that they give much importance above anything, those that I can suggest as Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon’s theme: Love and Friendship, Wealth and Knowledge, Respect and Recognition. which, somehow, indirectly reflects our identity as Filipininos.

Love and Friendship

The theme on love and friendship is very present in the film. It is even presented in the foremost scene in the movie- the grievance of Kulas’ mother. It simply depicts the very nature of Filipinos who are very fond of Family.Secondly is Kulas’ care for his adopted horse, Kidlat. Even though he loses Kidlat in his travel he still constantly thinks of about his horse. Kulas also made friends the Friar and his son. He also treated as good companies the group of entertainers in the forest. Kulas also had a good company with Lim, a Chinese merchant that accompanied him as he travels in a boat going to Manila. Another form of love which is -admiration is presented in the film. There are the random women that shows desire to be with Nicholas, take Leonor for example. Also, there is Kulas who had a strong love and admiration to Matilde “Diding” Diaz Patron, which later became his partner. Unacceptable affairs are also presented in the film-The affair between Matilde and Don Tibor. Don Tibor already has a wife and Matilde is already with Kulas when they decided to be together. The theme of love and friendship presented in this movie shows us that even during the post of war and invasion-they still desire to be with the person that will satisfy

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