The controversial documentary The Kingmaker, which chronicles the political career of convicted criminal and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, will finally make its local premiere via a screening later this month at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) — an institution that was, somewhat ironically, founded by Imelda herself.
The Laura Greenfield-directed film will be shown on Jan. 29, with a 3pm matinee screening, a 5pm panel discussion, and a 7:30pm gala screening. Tickets are priced at PHP250 (US$5).
Greenfield’s film explores the human rights violations and corruption of the Marcos clan, as well as Imelda’s campaign to help her son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to ascend to the vice-presidency in 2016 — only to be beaten out by Leni Robredo instead. Despite its critical look at the family, some have accused Imelda for taking advantage of the production to indulge her penchant for rewriting history.
Her late husband Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorial reign is best remembered for its numerous human rights violations and massive corruption, and Imelda herself was convicted of graft in November 2018 and sentenced to a minimum of 42 years in prison, though she is currently out on bail.
But despite her family’s numerous transgressions, Imelda remains popular among some Filipinos, and prior to her conviction, she remained active in politics. A fashion website even paid tribute to her with a photo shoot last June for supposedly being a “style icon.” (Unsurprisingly, it made little mention of where she got the money for all those shoes.)
In a statement, CCP Artistic Director Chris Millado said that the CCP “as a government cultural institution has a contentious history, so it cannot be denied that Imelda founded this during the Marcos years, that Imelda was the main patron for the establishment of this institution.”
“But it also cannot be denied that the Marcos regime had its excesses in terms of corruption, and its human rights record. And it also cannot be denied that they have been convicted in courts for this. By screening this film, it’s a way of making artistic expression engage with issues that we feel are very important to tackle in this part of the political or social psyche of the Filipino,” Millado added.
The Kingmaker has earned glowing feedback since it premiered last August, and has a 97 percent “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that aggregates movie reviews.
Tickets are available at the CCP Box Office, at (+632) 8832-3704, or TicketWorld, at (+632) 8891-9999. To learn more, visit the CCP’s website.
CCP is at Roxas Boulevard, Magdalena Jalandoni, Malate, Pasay City 1300 Metro Manila
Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9am to 6pm except holidays
Phone: (+632) 8832-3704
FB: @culturalcenterofthephilippines | IG: @culturalcenterph
This article, Imelda Marcos documentary ‘The Kingmaker’ premieres at CCP, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!