The Kingmaker: A Timely Retelling of History

by Matthew Escosia
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By: Shaina Semaña


“A documentary that starts as a nonfiction portrait and ends as a horror movie.” That is how writer David Fear described The Kingmaker in his review of the documentary for Rolling Stones.  While the NY Times review by Manhola Dargis described it as “an ugly story shrewdly told, with a sense of humor and also a deeper feeling for history.”

Intrigued? Mark your calendars then because this newsmaker of a documentary about the former First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos, will finally have its online debut in the country.

The gripping documentary shows Imelda’s journey to becoming the Philippines’ First Lady—from her and Ferdinand Marcos’ 11-day courtship—to her lavish life as the country’s most influential people, up until the end of their regime. Retold in a dialectic approach by no other than Imelda herself, aided by visuals of her life from the past and the present. The documentary has its debut on Venice Film Festival in August 2019 and had its limited release in the Philippines in January 2020.

Director and producer Lauren Greenfield herself said, in an interview with The Guardian, that it was shocking for her how Imelda and the Marcos’s story “came rushing into the present”. She described her initial goal in the documentary to be to follow Imelda’s homecoming to the Philippines as a Congresswoman and explore her legacy but she found herself in a more urgent situation that led her not only to the present, but to a possible and taunting future.

The documentary, which caught the attention of critics and was nominated Best Documentary in London Film Festival, also features commentaries from Vice President Leni Robredo, former President Noynoy Aquino and Imelda’s son Bongbong Marcos.

Witness a firsthand retelling of history, realize how it is still relevant to the events of today, and how it will or will not continue to shape our reality. Catch this eye-opening documentary on its local streaming debut exclusive on iWant, starting May 15.

Photos courtesy of Showtime.


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