The witty and crazy art of Kidlat Tahimik ZOOM IN
Indio-Genius: 500 Taong Labanan Kontra Magellan, Marilyn, Mickey, at Padre Damaso comes home
National artist for ĸlm Kidlat Tahimik shares his art, installation and ĸlm, to our countrymen after a successful six-month show in Madrid. The show is at the Cinematheque Center Manila entitled Indio-Genius: 500 Taong Labanan Kontra Magellan, Marilyn, Mickey, at Padre Damaso.
“We need to reminisce the stories of our native heroes, and bring back their inspiration into our lives,” said Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairman and CEO Tirso Cruz III. “I hope that this masterpiece will be a reminder for us to hold on, defend, and ĸght for our indigenous art and values, and love what is our own. If we Filipinos would not ĸght for our own, then who will.”
Of his exhibit in Madrid, Tatay Kidlat said, “More than 550,000 people came, wow, at least meron akong opportunity ipakita sa aking kababayan (I have an opportunity to show this to my countrymen).”
The exhibit will also travel to the National Museum, Museo Pambata, Rizal Park’s Visitor Center, Intramuros Administration, and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.
At the Cinematheque Center Manila exhibit, we see an independent filmmaker with a bamboo camera created by blind sculptor Rogelio Ginanoy. “Ang ganda ng imagination niya kasi hindi sya nakakakita (His imagination is wild because he cannot see),” muses Kidlat who works with skilled Ifugaos. “The craziness is mine, my very own, sariling katok. But
I try to put it into a story that chose ang galing ng Pinoy.”
The Mababangong Bangungot (1977) ĸlmmaker knows history is from the point of view of the Westerners. “Pigafetta, he was the one who put the name of Lapu-Lapu for prosperity,” he says.
Bulakna, the wife of Lapu-Lapu. “My imagination also says, ‘Teka, kapag ĸnal battle na, to preserve your culture, to preserve your lifestyle, I think every man, woman and child can help, sasama na yan, (If this is a ĸnal battle, they will join),’” relates the 79-year-old Prince Claus Laureate
awardee. “I like to make the ĸnal version Lapu-Lapu standing there on the side, ‘Sige kaya mo yan, dito lang ako kapag kailangan mo (You can slay him, I am just here by your side).’”
The woman with arnis gives the ĸnal blow. Magellan meets his match in a her—in a she. “It’s a gender sensitive
framing of the Battle of Mactan,” explains Kidlat.
Also shown is the shorter version of Balikbayan #1: The
Silent Movie, Kidlat’s eighth edition. The film won the Caligari Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2015 where it had its world premiere.
Kidlat Sr. lost his son, Kidlat de Guia, while he was in Madrid. “I dedicate this screening to him,” he says. “When we did the installation in Spain, he was really my right-hand man. He really kept me going and going in making this exhibit.”
Tatay Kidlat met his wife Katrin at the Munich Olympics 50 years ago. He was an economist and struggling. “Punong-puno na ko, gusto ko bumalik maging artist (I was fed up and wanted to be an artist),” says the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School graduate.
It was lowest turning point in his life when he ended up bankrupt due to the hostage crisis during the Olympics. He was forced to live in a community of artists outside Munich. “I met my wife, then we had our ĸrst child, after that I was a meta-ĸlmmaker who was teaching me how to run a Bolex camera,” he says. “Fifty years now, I am still that guy up there.”
The Balikbayan ĸlm started in 1979. “Ngayon pa lang matatapos (I will ĸnish this soon).” But like any Kidlat’s ĸlm, it takes decades because his ĸlming is organic. But he promises, “I think this year I am going to say goodbye to the ĸlm. Pipilitin (I’ll do my best).” Indio-Genius: 500 Taong Labanan Kontra Magellan, Marilyn, Mickey, at Padre Damaso runs at Cinematheque Center Manila until December.
Kidlat Tahimik lost his son, Kidlat de Guia, while he was in Madrid. ‘I dedicate this screening to him,’ he says. ‘When we did the installation in Spain, he was really my right-hand man. He really kept me going and going…’