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RIZAL
A Screenplay
© Hermie Rotea

GENRE: Historical action/drama similar to and better than GANDHI in story line.
PAGES: 119
PERIOD: 1861-1901
LOCATIONS: Spain, Berlin, Paris, Hong Kong, United States, Philippines.

LOGLINE: His pen is mightier than the sword. He gives his people hope, braves a firing squad, and leads his country to freedom. In his wake, an empire crumbles and changes world history forever! Based on a true story.

SYNOPSIS: Josť Rizal grows up during Spain's oppressive colonial rule of the Philippines. While a boy, his activist mother is wrongly imprisoned. His family and countrymen are evicted from their homes and lands they own since time immemorial. He witnesses three native priests hanged on false charges. Suspects are jailed and tortured or executed without court trials. So early on Rizal vows to fight for justice and freedom through education. He later writes two books that expose the evils of the State and the Catholic Church. He pioneers in nonviolence and civil disobedience to achieve government reforms. But Spanish colonial authorities ban him and his books from the Philippines. Thus Rizal is repeatedly forced into exile in Europe where he and his books win foreign support. He also elevates the case direct to Madrid but is met with government bureaucratic inaction. Although banned from the Philippines, he sneaks back into the country to confront the problem head on. He becomes the No. 1 political dilemma of the Governor General and the Archbishop. But because of Rizal’s foreign support, including liberal lawmakers and news media in Madrid, they don’t know how to deal with him, although the Friars want him dead. They imprison Rizal on false charges, then release him under pressure of world press and public opinion. Then they exile him, this time to a remote island in southern Philippines facing Borneo to blunt foreign criticisms and to reduce him to a nonperson. He declines a rebel mission to rescue him to keep his word of honor not to escape, and to prove to Spain that Filipinos are not afraid to die for freedom. Rizal ironically still rejects revolution to achieve change as other rebel leaders want. He prefers nonviolence and civil disobedience to force government reforms. At this point in history he is the first to pioneer in this concept of change. Yet they recognize and revere him as their revolutionary leader and inspiration. They invoke his name in their battle cry. Finally, Spanish authorities led by the Governor General are forced to decide Rizal's fate. What follows next are earthshaking events that challenge the United States and change world history forever.

RIZAL AND GANDHI COMPARED: RIZAL is similar to and better than GANDHI movie (1982) which won nine Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, etc. Their story lines and historical links are the main factors and big difference. In 1948 Gandhi singlehandedly secured India's independence from England and caused the British empire to collapse. In 1896 Rizal singlehandedly gained Philippine independence from Spain and caused the Spanish empire to collapse. But Gandhi was assassinated by a fellow Indian. Rizal bravely faced Spanish firing squads and met his martyrdom. Gandhi's story involved England and yet generated interest in the United States. Rizal's story involved America and should therefore generate more interest in the United States. Gandhi became world famous for his advocacy of civil disobedience and peaceful change. Rizal in fact pioneered in civil disobedience and peaceful change. Gandhi was only a 28-year old lawyer still in London when he learned of Rizal's execution in 1896. So Gandhi copied the idea from Rizal. Gandhi is recognized as the father of India's independence. So is Rizal revered as the national hero of the Philippines who sacrificed his life for independence.

SCREENPLAY:
Available online or by mail to literary agencies and film producers upon request.

HERMIE ROTEA
Author & Screenwriter
P.O. Box 547, Harbor City, California, United States 90710
Email: hrotea@netzero.com • www.rpictures.net • www.hermierotea.com