Why heroes kill heroes

PNS — MARIO O’Hara’s last film was “Ang Babae sa Breakwater” that won awards abroad six years ago. He now has a Cinemalaya entry, “Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio,” produced by Boy Abunda and Boy So. Is this based on the play about the Supremo? “No, this is based on a study made by the late Mayor Antonio Villegas in 1963 when he constructed Liwasang Bonifacio,” he says. “It has the complete records of the trial on Bonifacio and that’s where I based my screenplay. This is a period film and we spent much for the production design, the costumes, and various locations in Bulacan, Pampanga and an old house in Pasay. The film is shot mostly in sepia in a stylized manner. We start showing Bonifacio as a moro-actor and ends with his execution and burial.”

Playing Bonifacio is Alfred Vargas, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo is Lance Raymundo, Janvier Daily is Procopio Bonifacio, and Bb. Pilipinas World Danielle Castano is Gregoria de Jesus. “All other cast members are theatre actors. Lahat puro bata kasi ang mga rebolusyonaryo noon, 20 to 22 years old lang ang edad. The roots of local politics can be traced back to Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. Noon pa, uso na ang power struggle. It answers the question: Why did a hero kill another hero? It’s up to the viewer to conclude kung sino ang bida at sino ang kontrabida.”

Alfred is his personal choice to play Bonifacio. “He guested in the PETA play ‘Belong Puti’ and he said ang sarap pala ng theatre. So tinandaan ko ‘yun. The problem is he got busy sa election campaign so we waited for him. May 11, after the election, nag-shoot na agad kami. Kaya lang, ang taba niya, so dinaya na lang namin by making him wear dark clothes. But I’m very pleased with his performance and ni Lance. Magagaling sila.”