Saturday, December 14, 2013

10 of the Must-See Biographical Films

by: Uel Ceballos
Biographical films are really something that worth your time of watching. These sorts of movies tell the significant stories of persons, places, and events that carry weighty themes and priceless lessons that could only be found from true-to-life accounts. Oftentimes, these movies affect us more than any other films can do because we are pretty much aware that the story being presented did happen somewhere in the past. We feel connected to the story and to the subjects in one way or another, and oftentimes we get attached to it either objectively or subjectively speaking. Biographical films narrated the stories of the persons that possibly happened as well to the other people in other part of the globe, or could possibly happen in our own case somewhere in the future.

Below I got the list of my favorite biographical films that really got me off guarded to the verge of emotions. Check them now and hope you can see the full movie as well!

1. Schindler’s List – A heartbreaking demonstration of the Jews’ sufferings in times of the World War II, you would certainly cry your heart out here while seeing how the two-thirds of nine million Jews were being killed by creatures of their own species – Nazis who are biologically human but got a monster souls in them. The film was based in the life of Oskar Schindlers, a German businessman who unlikely managed to save thousands of Jews by employing them to his factory. This film had shown us the “good German” through the like of Oskar Schindler and the “evil ones” through the like of those people who have mercilessly perform the killings.

2. Jose Rizal – Jose Rizal movie tells the life story of Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose  Rizal who lived during the Spanish occupation in the country. The film had beautifully shown the important stages in Rizal’s life from his childhood up to his captured and detention until to his final execution, which was done through firing squad. Jose Rizal had done a great role in opening the eyes of Filipinos through his influential writings of which the two most popular are the books Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. His love for his country was in such incomparable fervor that it eventually urged the Filipinos to campaign a revolt against the Spanish administration.

3. The Pianist -- This is another great movie that tells the life back then in the years of World War II. It is based on the life story of Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman, who like other Jews had gone also to the ghetto and to the mercy of the Nazi German. This film, heartbreaking as any stories that have got something to do with the dark times in World’s History, showed how Szpilman’s attachment to music and dedication to his craft had played significant role for his hope and survival. 

4. The Elephant Man – Truly moving, The Elephant Man proved that there were unfortunate people in this world who were maybe ill-fated in many senses but still loved and cared for by the Lord. This film tells the story of John Merrick, a severely deformed man who was exhibited in carnival and given the name “The Elephant Man”. He met here a surgeon from London Hospital Frederick Treves who had helped improved his condition and found him a place that he could consider as home. Many people were feeling sorry, but much many were those who were frightened and saw Merrick as a monster. The saddest part is that despite the poor man’s devastating form, there were still numbers of heartless people who’d like to make profit out his condition but then angels never stop from coming into Merrick’s account and that quite showed that God has never ever gone missing in action in Merrick's life.

5. Gandhi – Starred by one of the greatest actors in Hollywood, Ben Kingsley had given us here a knockout acting performance as he played the role of Mohandhas Gandhi, the person who led the non-violent independence movement from the United Kingdom’s ruling. We knew Gandhi for all his remarkable words of wisdom and unbiased outlook on almost everything, including religion. Learn more of this person who had lived his life in the simplest way that you could ever imagine, and yet had influence greater sum of people. 

6. La Vie En Rose – Marion Cotillard had not only depicted the life of Edith Piaf here but she had enlivened the French singer’s soul to another body – into her own body. This is among the astounding biopic films that had shown the combination of both great performers from different time and of different genres of performing arts that this film earned Cotillard the Academy Awards for Best Actress. La Vie En Rose tells the extraordinary story of the celebrated French singer Edith Piaf who had lived between 1915 -1963 and had left us her wondrous music to listen into and life story to be our source of inspiration and life’s important lessons. (Click here to see review of the movie)

7. Lawrence of Arabia – This 3-hour running film is worth all your time as it will not only tell you a significant part of the world’s history during the World War but it will tour you to the vast and dangerous sea of sands in the Arabian deserts. Lawrence of Arabia is a biographical film that is based to the life’s story of T.E Lawrence, a British Army officer who had united the Arab tribes for one big Arab revolt independence campaign from the Ottoman Turks Empire. I was particularly awed by the vast depiction of the desert here that Lawrence had come to love despite of all the dangers the place had imposed to him and to others. But much more, I was emotionally moved by the demonstrated cause-and-effect of war to both ends of the warring parties – blood, death, and loss.  

8. Hilary and Jackie – This is one of the most troubling films I’ve seen but indeed one of the most sophisticated and classy movies ever produced. It tells the story of two sisters Hilary and Jackie who were born with great talent for music -- a flutist (Hilary) and a cellist (Jackie) – they were both seen with potential to follow international stardom but only Jackie had pursued it to that level. Hilary and Jackie had moved me with the touching stories and disturbing issues of the family Du Pre’s virtuosi. (Click here to see review of the movie)

9. The King’s Speech – Another great story that is quite moving and inspiring, The King’s Speech tells the story of King George VI of the United Kingdom on how he overcame his stuttering problem through the help of Lionel Logue, an Australian therapist whose qualifications for the job was confronted at some point in time. The film not only demonstrated the improvement on King George VI’s speaking problems, but it had also imparted significant moral lessons and inspirations.

10. El Presidente – A film that tells the years of Emilio Aguinaldo, one significant person in Philippine History whose life was not greatly highlighted as that of other country’s heroes but often bombarded with issues and speculations about the part he played in the history. El Presidente had shown the role played by Emilio Aguinaldo for leading the Katipunan movement in Cavite which eventually contributed greatly to the Philippine’s independence from the Spanish Empire. The film had also shown Aguinaldo’s side of story in regard to Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio’s controversial execution which was still debated today by the Philippine historians.