A Dangerous Life revisited
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - August 21, 2013 - 12:00am

…It moves, inspires, thrills, entertains and informs. You certainly can’t ask more of a movie than that…A risky venture but it is a powerful success… — Excerpt from a review of A Dangerous Life, Nov. 28, 1988 issue of People magazine

I first saw the HBO telemovie A Dangerous Life a quarter of a century ago and I was struck by Tessie Tomas’ non-comedic performance for a refreshing change, playing her fellow Waray former First Lady Imelda Marcos. In fact, the other actors — Ruben Rustia as Ferdinand Marcos and Laurice Guillen as Cory Aquino — are equally as memorable as the theme is: the turbulent events (seen through the eyes and lenses of Gary Busey as a fictional American TV reporter) surrounding the assassination of Sen. Ninoy Aquino on the tarmac on Aug. 21, 1983, leading to the ouster of the Marcoses on Feb. 26, 1986 and the elevation of Cory Aquino to power.

Funfare’s Big Apple correspondent Edmund Silvestre told me that while surfing the Net, he came across the movie on YouTube.

Waxing nostalgic, Edmund said that the movie once again made him proud to be a Filipino — “The first movie that made me pause and think about my country and its people.”     

Edmund recalled that the movie ignited controversy when it premiered, followed by scathing reviews about the distracting prosthetic nose used by Laurice and the hiring of Sri Lankans as stand-ins for Filipinos in some crowd scenes since the movie was partly shot in Colombo.

“But critics,” Edmund qualified, â€œwere unanimous that the entire Filipino cast gave exceptional performances,” also including Joonie Gamboa as Juan Ponce Enrile, the late Ray Ventura as Fidel Ramos, Jaime Fabregas as a newspaper publisher, Dina Bonnevie as a tortured human rights activist-turned-rebel, Mervyn Samson as Gen. Fabian Ver and Vic Diaz as Gen. Prospero Olivas and Roy Alvarez as Col. Tiger Tecson.

Noted Edmund, “More than the compelling story, A Dangerous Life mirrors the sufferings and sacrifices of 55 million Filipinos (now 95 million) who wanted to free themselves from tyranny, corruption, poverty, violence, political repression and human rights abuses. Twenty-five years after the movie’s premiere, and 30 years after Ninoy was assassinated — with the mastermind and assassin still unidentified and unpunished — the Filipino people are still waging a war against the very same issues that led to the collapse of the 20-reign of a brilliant man who missed the chance of turning the Philippines into a developed nation and going down in history as one of the greatest Asian leaders of all time.”

Fast forward to 2013.

Observed Edmund, “Today, from the startling misuse and stealing of pork barrel funds to widespread political dynasties and abuse of power — with hunger and crime rate still at an alarming rate — it’s clear that we are still living a dangerous life.”

You agree, don’t you?

Watching A Dangerous Life is a must-see among our leaders and our people, especially the young public servants who are enjoying the freedom and democracy regained from EDSA. This powerful movie would give them an idea of how it is to live in an oppressed and repressed society and maybe warn them what the power of the people can do to change the course of history.

“Revisiting A Dangerous Life will remind us all of what went wrong and what has become of us,” said Edmund.

As we celebrate the 30th death anniversary of Ninoy, I hope a local channel has a mind to replay that timeless movie.

Briefly noted

Taus-puso at malugod kong binabati ang kaibigan kong si Atty. Romy Macalintal (nakalarawan) na isa sa mga panauhing magsasalita sa Leong Hall ng unibersidad Ateneo de Manila, Lungsod ng Quezon, ngayong ganap na alas-otso ng umaga sa Kongreso ng Wikang Pambansa sa pangangasiwa ng Komisyonng Wikang Pilipino bilang paggunita sa Buwan ng Wika. Ang paksang tatalakayin ni Romy ay “Ang Wika ng Batas” kung saan ipaliliwanag niya ang kasalukuyang kalagayan ng ating wikang Filipino sa larangan ng batas. Kasama na rito ang paliwanag niya kung maaaring gamitin ang ating sariling wika sa mga hukuman tulad ng ginawa niyang isang petisyon sa Korte Suprema na ginamit niya ng buo ang salitang Filipino. Ang nasabing kongreso ay bukas para sa lahat, pati sa mga taga-media.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)


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