Writer: Janice Y Perez, Dean Rosen (Screenplay)
Starring: Raymond Bagatsing, Rachel Alejandro, Kate Alejandrino, Billy Ray Gallion, David Bianco, Jennifer Blair-Bianco, Tony Ahn, James Paoleli
Plot: In 1938, Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon agrees to welcome Jewish refugees from Germany in the Philippines.
Tagline – A world on the brink of war. A people on the brink of annihilation. A leader on the brink of death.
Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Important, But Slow
Story: Quezon’s Game starts as word comes out of Germany about wanting to move the Jews to concentration camps, the news hit the Philippines, reaching the President Manuel Quezon (Bagatsing) who along with his wife Aurora (Alejandro) works with Alex Frieder (Gallion) to find a solution to the horrific news.
President Quezon must look at what is going around the world before making his decision to offer refugees a home in the Philippines, an idea which could leave his reputation shattered, while Alex is learning first-hand how the Jews are being treated.
Thoughts on Quezon’s Game
Characters – President Manuel Quezon has been given the information about the Jewish camps in Nazi Germany, he has advisors trying to help him make the decision on whether to help, even though he has already made up his mind, he wants to find a way to offer refugees a place to live, by doing it in a political manor, unlike the leaders from around the world, he sees shutting them out. Aurora is the wife of Manuel’s who wants him to do the right thing no matter what, seeing the human factor to what is going on in Germany. Alex Frieder is a Jewish man living around Germany, he sees the changes happening in the country and turns to his own President to help people escape. Paul McNutt is part of the American embassy that isn’t willing to let the refugees in the country, he doesn’t want to support Manuel’s choice because America still has control over the country.
Performances – Raymond Bagatsing in the leading role is strong through the film, like the rest of the cast, Rachel Alejandro, Billy Ray Gallion and James Paoleli, they do bring their characters to life with ease, as we see the conflict in their performances.
Story – The story here follows the Filipino President who learns of the horrors of the German’s towards the Jews before the war broke out, who set out to offer them a home, needing to overcome the obstacles that are thrown in his way by other countries, mostly the Americans. This is another interesting historical drama, showing us just how important the stories of the people that wanted to help save the innocent lives that were being taken, how people would put their own reputations on the line to make this happen. While certain moments of this story do seem to lack moments of pace, because most of the film focuses more on the political side of the events.
History – When it comes to any film about history, you want to learn something new and after watching this film, you will learn about the incredible, the work that Manuel Quezon achieved during the war.
Settings – Most of the film is set behind close doors, with it being offices or social events, where the conversations took place.
Scene of the Movie – The arrival.
Final Thoughts – This is an interesting history lesson film that will once again put a spotlight on another unsung hero of the war.
Overall: Important Story.