‘The Kingmaker,’ ‘Imelda’: Documentaries free for streaming

March 14, 2022 - 4:54 PM
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Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Documentaries about the matriarch of a political family in the Philippines are now available for free streaming.

American documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield said her latest film was made available for streaming on Vimeo through an arrangement with ABS-CBN and its iWantTFC platform.

She added that the Vimeo link can be shared by anyone in the Philippines and is free to watch on any device.

Greenfield has long wanted to release the documentary for free to Filipino viewers.

“We need to remember the past, we need to understand history. We need to be informed, because as we talked about before, these things happen little by little, and you don’t always see the big picture,” she said in a 2019 interview before.

“I would like people to take also the manipulation of information and the way it can impact elections. I hope it has resonance in the Philippines but also, outside the Philippines,” Greenfield added.

The documentary features her interviews with former first lady Imelda Marcos and her only son, 2022 presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

It also features an interview with her grandson, Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, who is gunning for a congressional seat. He is running for Ilocos Norte’s first district representative.

“The Kingmaker” also shows the start of Imelda and late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr‘s relationship, her influence on him during the regime, Martial Law, the People Power Revolution, their exile in the United States and their return to the Philippines.

The documentary likewise includes accounts of Martial Law victims.

Following Greenfield’s announcements, social media users also encouraged their followers to watch another documentary that also delves into the life of the Marcos matriarch.

“The Kingmaker isn’t the first docu centering on Imelda. There’s also IMELDA (2003) filmed by Ramona Diaz (available on YouTube),” a Twitter user said.

“If you are going to watch a documentary on the Marcoses, start with this one, by @CineDiaz. Start with a Filipina’s POV and the effort that dissected Mrs. Marcos first,” columnist Manuel Quezon III tweeted, posting a link of Ramona Diaz‘s “Imelda.”

“Then, by all means, watch the one made by the Americans,” he added, sharing “The Kingmaker’s” link.

“Imelda” is a 2003 documentary by Diaz, an award-winning filmmaker who was the first one granted unprecedented access to the former first lady.

The documentary had its world premiere at the 2003 International Documentary Film Festival in Germany. It was also shown at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Excellence in Cinematography Award for documentaries.

The documentary features Imelda discussing her own life story, from her beauty queen days to being the wife of a politician.

It also shows interviews of Marcos Jr. and his sister, Sen. Imee Marcos.

“Imelda” likewise offers accounts from her confidantes and opponents who were once imprisoned during Martial Law.

There were also foreign personalities who offered a “reality check” that counters the matriarch’s own views, such as former U.S. diplomats Stephen Bosworth and Richard Holbrooke and journalists Katherine Ellison and former San Francisco Examiner correspondent Phil Bronstein.

The documentary was previously banned by the namesake of the film who claimed she only approved it as a school project and not for commercial consumption.

Diaz shared that it can be watched in full on either Vimeo or YouTube.

Filipino director Kip Oebanda also gave hints that his 2018 independent film “Liway” can soon be streamed as well.

He shared a poster of the Martial Law-themed movie on his Facebook account with the caption: “Throwback o throw-forward? (smiling face emoji)”

“Liway” is based on a true story about a mother who uses stories, music and art to shelter her child from the harsh realities of living in a prison camp during Martial Law.

It received the Special Jury Commendation at the 2018 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, as well as the Audience Choice award.

In the comments, Oebanda confirmed to community pantry organizer Patreng Non that there will be a screening of the film.

Another Facebook user said that “a lot” of Filipinos are looking forward to the possible screening.

“Well, ‘di na magtatagal ang pag-aabang nila haha,” Oebanda answered him.

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