We are all ‘Citizen Jake’
The comeback film of Mike de Leon, “Citizen Jake,” will slug it out with superheroes and teen heartthrobs in cineplexes starting this week
In this forum, we gather some of the cast members of “Citizen Jake” to explain why Filipinos shouldn’t miss this movie.
As one of them so eloquently put it: “We all can be Citizen Jake.”
ADRIAN ALANDY: This movie will be talked about for years to come. It is something relevant to our republic. It shows that if you fight for what you stand for, all the pieces will fall into place someday.
NONIE BUENCAMINO: It’s a brilliantly crafted film by Mike de Leon, who rarely directs and produces films. It has an engaging story that compels the viewer to reflect on his own situation within his environment and possibly encourage him to make rightful decisions that prioritize the interests of the state before his own family.
LOU VELOSO: We need to watch it because most of us never learn the lessons of the past.
RICHARD QUAN: More than anything else, watch it for its message. It’s a reflection of what’s happening now. The crisis will only escalate unless we act now. It is a reminder for the older generation and an eye-opener for the youth. It will stand the test of time.
TEROY GUZMAN: It is inarguable that, at the root of our crisis as a nation today, is the erosion of memory and the revision of history. This film offers a powerful antidote to that. It captures the complex ambiguities between truth and fiction, between the entangled loyalties we owe to both family and nation—forcing us to confront painful but necessary questions about who we are as Filipinos.
NANDING JOSEF: It is a film that intelligently, almost scientifically but creatively, diagnoses the social cancer that until now ails us. It is for Everyman or Everywoman and Every Filipino to see, as it incisively mirrors the conflict between good and evil.
These are conflicts that many of us turn a blind eye to, because of indifference, out of fear and ignorance. Thus, chronic social ills persist.
Watch it because it is an art film, but also because you can choose which characters you might want to identify with, then decide if you want to be part of the solution or the cancer cells that continue to metastasize in our country.
RAQUEL VILLAVICENCIO: It shakes us out of our apathy. Anyone can be Citizen Jake if he accepts the challenge of getting to the truth, no matter how devastating. Change can start with one person. Thought-provoking, it provides great insight into how we, average people, need to adjust our inner selves to care enough about the world, act on the problem and be part of the solution.
VICTOR NERI: It’s a Mike de Leon film. He’s fearless. He just wanted to make a film and tell a story.
RUBY RUIZ: After my 18-year-old son watched it, he told me: “Ma, there are so many questions in my mind. I need to know about so many things.” He kept asking me about the martial law era.
GABBY EIGENMANN: It is important for us to be aware of what has been happening to our country. We have to study and understand these issues. The movie tackles not just politics, but also family problems, relationships and the choices we make. This movie has many facets. I hope people will be curious … because they should see it.
ATOM ARAULLO: It’s important for Filipinos to watch it because it’s a commentary about the times we live in, told through the lens of a brilliant filmmaker with something to say.
We have to look into the mirror from time to time.
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