300: Rise of an Empire – A story of Freedom, Sacrifice, and Love for Country



I find it peculiar that I came to appreciate the sacrifices of our real historical heroes (Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, etc.)  through a fictional movie – 300: Rise of an Empire.

Last Friday, Gelo and I watched the movie. As we sat inside the dark cinema eating barbeque flavoured fries, I was taken through the episodes of the movie. As the chapters unfolded, sometimes violent ones, I realized the reality of war. The movie was fictional but what it depicted was real. Our freedom, this same freedom that we enjoy now, came with great cost.

The Persians led by Artemisia were motivated by power, vengeance, and pride. In contrast, the Athenians led by General Themistocles were motivated by freedom, sacrifice, and love for country.

These scenes in the movie particularly struck me.


On the other side of the Greek sea, Artemisia was ranting that although she was surrounded by thousands of men, she felt alone. She longed for a partner who will fight by her side. Intimidated and possibly impressed by Themistocles, she lured him into joining her to take down Greece. The general undoubtedly turned her down and she was angered.

Enraged, Artemisia unleashed her wrath against Greece. Using thousands of her men and her expertise in combat, she burned down the Greek navy. General Themistocles and his men lost the battle.  Wounded by the circumstances, he gave a heart-felt speech to his men. He cited his responsibilities as the general and things that pain him – seeing his friends die, witnessing boys turn to soldiers, and seeing children become fatherless. He gave his men an option to leave; they are free men after all. But no one left. All his men were determined to fight side by side their general and die for freedom.

“We’d rather die on our feet than die on our knees,” cried the general.

When they got back on their feet, Themistocles learned that their ally, the 300 mighty men of Sparta led by King Leonidas died in battle against the self proclaimed god-king of Persia. Instead of mourning, he recognized the sacrifice of the 300 men. He said that their death is not a defeat but a victory and their sacrifice shall not be forgotten and put to waste. He sought the help of the bereaved Queen of Sparta. In the end, Themistocles finally killed Artemisia as the Spartans joined the battle.

The movie ended there. I’m definitely going to watch the sequel. 🙂

Many of our men died to fight for our freedom. Many children became fatherless; many lost their friends in battle, and perhaps, many were not able to marry and raise their own family just to fight for a cause they hold deeply in their hearts.

We can freely shop in the malls, travel to Palawan,  and walk hand in hand with our loved ones – all because of the sacrifices and love for freedom and country of our heroes in the past.

Did you watch the movie 300:Rise of an Empire too? What can you say about it?

P.S.  By the way, this movie is R-16, which means only 16 years old and up are allowed to watch in the cinema. Well, I’m 17 so I was allowed to enter ;). (Just kidding)

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