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Download Martyr or Murderer Full Movie HD: The Sequel to Maid in Malacañang That Shocks the Nation

Martyr or Murderer: A Controversial Film About the Marcos Family and Ninoy Aquino

Martyr or Murderer is a 2023 Philippine drama film directed by Darryl Yap that explores the assassination of Ninoy Aquino on August 21, 1983, three years before the events of Maid in Malacañang, another film by Yap that focuses on the final days of the Marcos family before they were ousted from power by the EDSA Revolution in 1986. The film stars Cesar Montano as Ferdinand Marcos, Ruffa Gutierrez as Imelda Marcos, Isko Moreno as Ninoy Aquino, and Cristine Reyes as Imee Marcos. The film is narrated by Imee Marcos, the eldest daughter of Ferdinand and Imelda, who recounts her perspective on what happened to her family before and after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, her father's archrival and the husband of Cory Aquino, who later became the president of the Philippines. The film is a controversial and provocative take on one of the most turbulent and tragic chapters of Philippine history, as it challenges the conventional narrative of Ninoy Aquino as a martyr and hero, and Ferdinand Marcos as a murderer and tyrant.

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The Historical Context of the Film

The Marcos Regime and the Opposition Movement

The film is set in the backdrop of the Marcos regime, which ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. Ferdinand Marcos was elected as the president in 1965 and re-elected in 1969, but he faced growing opposition from various sectors of society, such as students, workers, farmers, journalists, religious leaders, and political rivals. Among his most vocal critics was Ninoy Aquino, a charismatic and popular senator who was seen as a potential successor to Marcos. Aquino exposed the corruption, human rights violations, and abuses of power of the Marcos administration, and called for reforms and democracy. In 1972, Marcos declared martial law, suspending the constitution, abolishing Congress, banning political parties, censoring the media, and arresting thousands of his opponents, including Aquino. Marcos claimed that he needed to impose martial law to save the country from communism and chaos, but many saw it as a way to extend his term and consolidate his dictatorship.

The Assassination of Ninoy Aquino and the EDSA Revolution

In 1980, Aquino was allowed to leave the country for a heart surgery in the United States, where he stayed in exile for three years. He decided to return to the Philippines in 1983, despite the threats and warnings from the Marcos government. He hoped to initiate a dialogue with Marcos and persuade him to restore democracy and end martial law. He also wanted to rally the people behind his cause and prepare for the upcoming presidential election in 1987. However, as he arrived at the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983, he was shot in the head by a gunman while descending from his plane. His assassination sparked a massive public outrage and protest against the Marcos regime, which was accused of masterminding the killing. The opposition movement gained momentum and support from various groups, such as the Catholic Church, the business sector, the military rebels, and the international community. In February 1986, a snap election was held between Marcos and Cory Aquino, Ninoy's widow who ran as his successor. The election was marred by fraud and violence, and Marcos was declared as the winner by his loyalists. However, millions of Filipinos took to the streets in a peaceful demonstration that came to be known as the EDSA Revolution or People Power Revolution. They demanded that Marcos step down and recognize Cory Aquino as the legitimate president. After four days of mass protests, Marcos fled the country with his family on February 25, 1986, ending his 21-year rule.

The Plot and Characters of the Film

The Perspective of Imee Marcos

The film is told from the point of view of Imee Marcos, who is portrayed by Cristine Reyes as a complex and conflicted character. Imee is shown as a loyal and devoted daughter who loves her parents and siblings unconditionally. She is also depicted as a smart and ambitious woman who has her own political aspirations and achievements. She is elected as a member of parliament under her father's party in 1978, and becomes the chairperson of the Kabataang Barangay, a youth organization created by her father. She is also involved in various controversies, such as the alleged torture and murder of Archimedes Trajano, a student activist who questioned her in a forum, and the alleged misuse of tobacco excise tax funds in Ilocos Norte . Imee is conflicted between her love for her family and her awareness of their faults and crimes. She tries to justify their actions and rationalize their motives, but she also questions their decisions and regrets their consequences. She is torn between loyalty and truth, between martyrdom and murder.

The Portrayal of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos

The film portrays Ferdinand Marcos as a charismatic but ruthless leader who clings to power despite his failing health. He is shown as a brilliant strategist and orator who can manipulate the masses and the media with his rhetoric and propaganda. He is also depicted as a cruel and corrupt dictator who orders the arrest, torture, and killing of his enemies, and who amasses ill-gotten wealth from various sources. He suffers from a kidney disease that requires dialysis and medication, which affects his physical and mental condition. He becomes paranoid and isolated, relying on his loyal cronies and generals to maintain his grip on power. He is obsessed with his legacy and his vision of a "New Society" that he claims to have built for the Filipino people.

The film depicts Imelda Marcos as a glamorous but delusional woman who spends lavishly on art, jewelry, and shoes. She is shown as a devoted wife and mother who supports her husband's ambitions and policies. She is also portrayed as a powerful and influential figure who has her own political agenda and interests. She travels around the world as a cultural ambassador and a socialite, meeting with various leaders and celebrities. She also oversees various projects and foundations that aim to promote the arts, culture, and tourism in the Philippines. She is oblivious to the suffering and discontent of the people under martial law, and believes that she is doing them a favor by beautifying the country and uplifting their spirits.

The Representation of Ninoy Aquino and Cory Aquino

The film represents Ninoy Aquino as a duplicitous and ambitious politician who conspires with foreign powers to overthrow Marcos. He is shown as a cunning and charismatic leader who can sway the public opinion with his speeches and interviews. He is also depicted as a traitor and a coward who collaborates with the communists, the Americans, and the Vatican to destabilize the government and incite rebellion. He fakes his heart condition to escape prison and exile, and plans his return to the Philippines to launch his presidential bid. He is aware of the plot to assassinate him, but he uses it as an opportunity to become a martyr and a hero.

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The film shows Cory Aquino as a naive and reluctant widow who becomes the symbol of democracy after her husband's death. She is shown as a simple and devout housewife who has no political experience or ambition. She is also portrayed as a puppet and a figurehead who is controlled by the opposition leaders and advisers who use her popularity and legitimacy to challenge Marcos. She is hesitant and indecisive, and relies on her faith and prayers to guide her actions. She is unaware of the machinations and intrigues that surround her, and trusts the wrong people who betray her or manipulate her.

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