MOVIE REVIEW: THE KINGMAKER (Lauren Greenfield, 2019)

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When Imelda Marcos mentioned that “Perception is real, and the truth is not”, it couldn’t have been more true in her case. If I didn’t know any better, I would have fallen for her allure as a wonderful First Lady of the Philippines. She was extremely charismatic here, beautiful (moreso in her prime), very well-spoken, and sounded smart with her empty platitudes on beauty and mothering.

But the cloud of disillusionment completely dissipated with the testimonies of the Martial Law victims, the unanswered questions on the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, and their family’s connection to President Duterte’s ascent to power.

Although I felt that this documentary faltered a bit towards the end when it lost focus on its engrossing (emphasis on gross, per Dilawans) subject matter, I really liked the fact that it took a seemingly neutral stand on Imelda the person (or the icon, depending on one’s political views). Let the people (or audience) think and decide if we need to forget the atrocities of the past or say never again. In the end, people really get the government that they deserve.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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