Evergreen Pictures (Frank Evers, Lauren Greenfield)
Shana Hagan, Lars Skree
Per K. Kirkegaard
Centred on the indomitable character of Imelda Marcos, The Kingmaker examines, with intimate access, the Marcos family’s improbable return to power in the Philippines. The film explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime and chronicles Imelda’s present-day push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice-presidency. To this end, Imelda confidently rewrites her family’s history of corruption, replacing it with a narrative of a matriarch’s extravagant love for her country.
Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines, famed for her addiction to excess, has been an iconic figure in my long-term investigation of wealth through my photography and films. Astonished that she had managed to re-enter Philippine politics after being ousted by a popular uprising, I began filming her and discovered that, at age 85, she remained a skilled ‘political animal’, as her son Bongbong describes her.
Imelda has worked to rewrite the history of her family and replace it with the narrative of a matriarch’s lavish love for her country. In an age when fake news manipulates elections, Imelda’s comeback story is a dark fairy tale. It is brought into sharper focus by a little- known footnote of Imelda’s legacy—an island that she depopulated in order to import African animals for a safari park. The story of the neglected animals’ struggle today serves as a symbol of the plight of the Filipino people, forced to navigate the legacy of decades of corruption.
PRODUCTION: Frank Evers – Evergreen Pictures
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