The Rights Stuff


PH books that made the jump to the big screen—and where to stream them

By Lifestyle Inquirer — 05.05.2020

“Dekada ’70”

Movies made from books combine the Filipinos’ craving for cinema and their love for literature, but this artistic alchemy has been accomplished far less often than you would expect, particularly on the big screen. This has to do both with the amount of time it takes for a book—or published literary work—to become a classic in the past as well as the logistics of making a movie. In this time of quarantine, one can find several of these exemplars. Here is where you can stream some of these adaptations and the stories behind them.

One can begin with the novels of National Hero José Rizal, who essentially self-published his books in Germany. “Noli Me Tángere” was printed in Berlin in 1887 and “El Filibusterismo” in Ghent in 1891 by F. Meyer van Loo Press. National Artist for Film Gerardo de León’s “Noli Me Tangere” was released in 1961 with Eddie del Mar as Crisostomo Ibarra and Leopoldo Salcedo as Elias. This black-and-white classic, considered one of the greatest Filipino films, has recently been remastered in Germany by the Goethe Institute and the German Embassy. In 1962, De León released “El Filibusterismo” with Pancho Magalona as Simoun (This movie can be streamed on iFlix).

This article was first published here.