Director Jerrold Tarog Hopes 'Goyo' Can Help Break The Filipino Culture of Hero Worship

His upcoming historical film has very, very relevant themes.

As we close in on the September 5 premiere of Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, we're getting more and more clues as to what the movie will be like, including the themes and messages it will bring to bear upon its audiences and Filipino culture. Considering the cultural impact of its predecessor, Heneral Luna, the film certainly has important points to round out.

Previously, director Jerrold Tarog said in a featurette that Goyo is an invitation to critical thinking, mainly directed at younger audiences. He said: "Ngayon kasi, sobrang daling magalit sa mga bagay na mali, without actually having the sense to study other points of view. In many ways, 'yung kwento ni Goyo, para siyang, a call to critical thinking. [...] Ano ba talaga 'yung pinaglaban niya? Pag-ibig ba, si Aguinaldo, o 'yung bayan?"

The director then elaborated on this at a recent press conference, in which he said, "There are many scenes dun sa film, aside from Goyo thinking about his decisions, na 'yung audience din, mapapaisip din sila: Bayani ba talaga 'tong pinapanood natin? Nandun 'yun sa mga voiceovers ni Mabini—which is nasa trailers naman—and mga voiceovers ni Joven Hernando."

He went on to explain, poignantly: "Kinikwestiyon niya 'yung idea na, 'Bakit tayo laging nakatingala at sumasamba na walang pagdududa?' Importante sa akin 'yun, na ma-introduce 'yung idea na 'yun, lalo na sa pop culture. Kasi, well, we are a culture that's very prone to hero worship. So sa akin, panahon na para basagin 'yung hero worship."


It's an ironic message for a film that is, essentially, about someone whom many regard as a hero. But it's one that makes perfect sense in the context of our culture today. Here's to hoping that Goyo can impress this imporant message upon its audiences in a way that's as impactful as Luna was in 2015.

Catch Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral when it hits theaters nationwide next Wednesday, September 5.

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