Iskizofrenyang Pangkami: Ideological Fantasies and Anxieties of Heroes, Historians and History in Jerrold Tarog’s Historical Biopic Series (2015-2018)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts major in Literary and Cultural Studies



First Advisor

Ms. Ma. Gabriela P. Martin


Merited as a tour de force of Philippine historiophoty in the current decade, Jerrold Tarog’s biopic series— Heneral Luna (2015), the short film “Angelito” (2018), and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018)— exemplifies the prevailing praxis in Philippine narrative history of reflecting social aporias in the present through nationalist narratives of the past. Under the instruction of Fredric Jameson’s Marxist hermeneutic of metacommentary, the study is a historicizing enterprise wherein concentric zones of ideology— the political, the social, and the historical— encoded in the series are unveiled and anatomized. The first layer of analysis is guided by the character of Joven Hernando as symbolic act, a narrative of resolution which symptomizes the social contradictions it attempts to symbolically resolve. These social aporias— found in centers of historiography, media, and government— are sediments of an ideologeme or a class discourse in the broader horizon of social order. Zeus Salazar’s Pantayong Pananaw framework serves as a guiding principle in locating and identifying dialogical class utterances within the discourse. Alongside the films, three historical biographies (used as primary references in the films) and two post-production monographs are analyzed in this segment. The third and final analytical tier studies the form of the class utterance by dissecting the ideological charge in varying modes of genre whose fusion shape the aesthetic of the films. The product of analysis is a conceptual reconstruction of a political unconscious, whose veins of influence germinate in the films as well as in prevailing conventions and authorities of Philippine historiography and historiophoty.

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