Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme (2020)

The Kingmaker (2020)

Lauren Greenfield’s film about the Philippines’ former first lady Imelda Marcos reveals a grotesquely self-pitying, wholly unrepentant and very rich woman, who has clearly still kept her hands on a great deal of the American aid money that successive US presidents once gave the Philippines in return for suppressing communism and civil rights and showing hospitality to US naval power – cash that she and her husband, Ferdinand, looted from the public purse and salted away abroad.

It seems at first as if this is going to be simply a black-comic portrait of entitlement, comparable to Greenfield’s 2012 film The Queen of Versailles. Actually, it is more than that: a larger, tragic picture of tyranny and corruption in the Philippines that might stand alongside Josh Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014) about the repression and slaughter in Indonesia.

There are exquisitely horrible moments in this portrait when Marcos, taking us around her fabulous Manila home, and speaking in an absurdly queenly and soft-voiced way about her lifestyle and her plans for the future, unknowingly reveals how loathsome she is. Or perhaps she does know and doesn’t care, and has a shrewd sense of how her outrageousness plays well with a certain part of her (sizeable) fanbase. But it is truly stomach-turning as she gives banknotes to poor little children in the street and, on being taken to a children’s cancer hospital, Madame Marcos winces with disgust at their poverty and suffering and says to an aide: “Give me some money to give away.”

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

[eventio_frame id=5a44a0a26563f3db2b8b4567 cef_5a434efa6563f3531e8b4567=%the_title%]

Film Title : The Kingmaker
Language : englanti, filipino
Director : Lauren Greenfield
Year : 2019
Length : 100
Age limit : K7
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Shana Hagan, Lars Skree
Editing : Per K. Kirkegaard
Music : Jocelyn Pook
Producer : Frank Evers, Lauren Greenfield
Production Company : Evergreen Pictures

Screenings :
Wed 29.1. at 18.30, Kinopalatsi 1
Thu 30.1. at 21.00, Kinopalatsi 1
Sat 1.2. at 20.15, Bio Rex