Noli on TV: Adaptation Criticism as Metacritism

Patrick F. Campos


The paper’s project is adaptation criticism. But the paper is also, more importantly, engaged in metacriticism. It is concerned with the broader discourse of nationalism, which finds unique poignancy in Rizalian adaptation. The components of the paper are mutually enabling: the transformation of Noli Me Tangere from print to screen problematizes the motivations, processes, and implications of adaptation; while adaptation criticism, in turn, seeks to contribute to the critical tradition which engages Rizal and his impact on Philippine history and nationalism. One can presume that the screen adaptations of Rizal and his works are produced because film is a “popular” and “mass” medium. If so, Rizal adaptations always presuppose the value of the original texts, especially in relation to their nationalist context, vis-à-vis a particular conception of what the popular or mass audience is like, needs, or can appreciate. It is, therefore, of great significance and interest to address the first and only screen adaptation of the Noli for television. The paper analyzes how the intervening historical gap between the original novel and the screen adaptation, a period which has seen the rise of the “Rizal industry” and the passing of the “Rizal bill,” has been textualized in the adaptation.


Rizal, Noli Me Tangere, Adaptation Criticism, Television Studies, nation, Literary History

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ISSN: 2012-0788