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Home > Written Reviews > “QUEZON’S GAME” A ‘tell all’ Historical Drama

“QUEZON’S GAME” A ‘tell all’ Historical Drama

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

The historical drama Quezon’s Game is so compelling that it’s hard to believe that it actually happened with little knowledge of the events until this film. We do know that there was a holocaust, that the Jews were persecuted, their property confiscated by the Nazi Regime, concentration camps were set up, millions were murdered and much more of the noted facts in movies and books. However, this story brings to light more than just the fact that the USA and Canada turned away people that were legitimately seeking asylum, but that our leadership and their ambassadors at the time added to the prejudice and denouncement of certain groups.

Filipino President Manuel L. Quezon (Raymond Bagatsing) in Quezon’s Game from Star Cinema Pictures

 

It’s just prior to the invasion by the Japanese of the United States’ Philippines Commonwealth. America has yet to be all in to invade Europe and enter the war effort against the Nazis. The Philippines under the leadership of President Manuel Quezon has been pushing to become a sovereignty nation and break from the United States who are its protectorate since the late 1930’s. Under the Leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ambassador Paul V. McNutt oversees the Islands and falls into a major problem when President Quezon wants to bring thousands of Jews into his country to save them from the Nazi concentration camps. After consulting with the Democrats who were in control of House of Representatives, they denied Quezon’s request for the visas he would need to bring them to his Island Country.

 

Nazi SS officer Lt. Commander Ebner (Kevin Kraemer) confronts Jewish businessman Alex Frieder (Billy Ray Gallion) with disdain as U.S. Colonel Dwight Eisenhower (David Bianco) looks on in Quezon’s Game from Star Cinema Pictures

 

The film shows the fight by the Filipinos to help the Jews, the infighting within the countries high offices, the pressure put on the government of the Philippines and the perseverance and defiance by President Quezon in his duty to do the right thing. Director Matthew E. Rosen provides a moving experience for his audience that may offend some, enlighten many and is a heartfelt tribute to one man’s determination in the face of insubordination. For that he accomplished saving thousands from death much like Oskar Schindler in the movie Schindler’s List.

The whole cast does a terrific job of bringing the characters to the screen. But I would like to point out the amazing performance by Raymond Bagatsing as Manuel Quezon. Stellar in the role, he brings a man who would stop at nothing to save people from extermination. He shows Quezon’s love for his country, shrewdness in his dealings with America and the loyalty his character had as President, to take the chance in disobeying the country that governed them.

 

An actual photo of the real Filipino President Manuel L. Quezon (left) who enlisted the aid of American diplomat Paul V. McNutt courtesy of Star Cinema Pictures

 

Quezon’s Game has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for strong language, thematic material including some disturbing images, and smoking throughout. Contains some dialogue in Spanish and German with English subtitles

FINAL ANALYSIS: An eye opener and a heartfelt tribute to Quezon. (3.5 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Raymond Bagatsing, Rachel Alejandro, Kate Alejandrino
Directed and by: Matthew E. Rosen
Genre: Drama, History
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for strong language, thematic material including some disturbing images, and smoking throughout
Running Time: 2 hrs. 7 min.
Opening Date: January 24, 2020
Distributed by: Star Cinema Pictures
Released in: Theaters

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