The Imelda in all of us. (Ramona Diaz, 2004) September 5, 2007Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Noypi.
Originally published in Digital Buryong on August 11, 2007
Directed by Ramona S. Diaz
Director of Photography: Ferne Pearlstein
Music: Grace Nono, Bob Aves, TAO music
Editor: Leah Marino
In Imelda, the former First Lady contradicts herself so much that my notion of rationality changes every five minutes. It’s as if gulping three cups of espresso and still feeling drowsy.
Out of the blue, she’s telling us that she is a simple woman and yet, she has this bodega of handwoven, elegant clothes and a galore of shoes sufficient enough to open a department store. She proudly mentions that it takes her an hour to dress up when she’s meeting royalties, foreign presidents, and diplomats but in visiting rural communities, it takes her twice of the usual time. These people need a model, a star, someone to look up to, so I should look damn good. Her logic ranges from the feisty to the insane, and yet she is very engaging. In fact, the entire documentary can stand on its own with just Mrs. Marcos blabbering endlessly about herself except for those philosophical sketches which drive me nuts. (Well of course, Mr. de Quiros, as one of the journalists who opined on the aftermath of the regime, is a sight and should not be taken out just in case.)
My favorite part was when she was stabbed by this raging man from the audience during a political event. She had more than five stab wounds and refused in undergoing a plastic surgery to show the Filipino people her bravery, in which she believes is tantamount to her husband’s. In an interview she said, Why use a bolo to kill me? Why such an ugly instrument? They should’ve put a ribbon, a lace, or something. If only I could smile up to my scalp, I already did.
There may be a little Imelda in all of us but given the power and fortune, I will not spend them on shoes. Ramona Diaz’s award-winning documentary, a subtle irony of a woman who once ruled our country in flamboyance and despair, ends perfectly with a footage of Imee and Bongbong Marcos’ victory party, singing and jumping whole-heartedly to the tune of Depeche Mode’s Just Can’t Get Enough. As if Imelda is a walking irony, Diaz got into trouble after winning in Sundance and having a local release. * * * *