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A light historical play

GomBurZa is a Filipino period drama on Netflix that talks about the events prior to the start of Philippine’s struggle for independence. The film opens with a story about Hermano Pule, a priest who began secular priest in the country after being was reject from joining Spanish priesthood due to racial discrimination.

The story, narrated by Father Pedro Palaez to his student Jose Burgos and friend Mariano Gomez, takes center stage and introduces a conflict among priests where Friars want to take over secular churches. Before dying, father Palaez attempts fighting for independence of secular churches as well as equal treatment between Filipino priests and their counterparts from other countries.

However, this gives friars an opportunity to destroy his reputation by painting him as rebel against Spanish rule within Philippines. This triggers quiet rage in Pule’s disciple Father Jose Burgos who writes manifesto defending him in newspaper for Filipinos’ rights too. The manifesto starts with subsequent happenings that led to martyrdom of three priests namely; Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora.

The premise undoubtedly states that catholic priests are root cause of fight for freedom against Spanish colonialism in Philippines. In light of this, movie explores multifacetednesses surrounding four part split struggle for equality within church; beginning rift between seculars & friar orders ,impact brought by liberalism on society ,mutiny failure followed by mutineers execution etcetera.

The simplicity exhibited by the film makes it easier for global audience members to comprehend what happened during those times. However, being straightforward is also its weakness since there is only so much information give out and emotional aspect falters too. But still writers were able skillfully juggle around different major groups at that time alongside their pivotal roles they played leading up martyrdom.

In terms of characterisation brilliance mainly lies through performances put across by them throughout Gomburza . But most especially one who takes centre stage is Jose Burgos, played so convincingly well by actor portraying him. He personifies frustrations faced by many Filipinos under colonial rule; he’s liberal yet daring but cautious enough to know when & where exert his influence plus death acts as catalyst for revolution.

Then again Pedro Palaez even though having less screen time still manages leave an everlasting impression since represents someone with strong will power ready stand against any form of oppression. Felipe Buencamino and Paciano Mercado bring about fresh touch in movie as their acting serves to reaffirm hopes which government kept suppressing all along.

The voice of reason in this place is Father Mariano Gomez, and he stands out by his great performance. This can barely be said about Father Jacinto Zamora: portray him as a shallow carefree spirit with no depth whatsoever. Editing has its own flaws too; thus making the chapters discontinuous from each other. All other characters save for Jose Burgos are loosely write which means that they were made to feel like background characters by the writers when in actual sense their complexities would have had a stronger impact on the movie had they been given more attention. Gomburza is still a great film on Philippine history regardless, you should watch it.

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