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The Kingmaker 15 rating

The matriarch of the Marcos dynasty hopes to see her maternal delusions validated and political power restored, while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy, in this captivating study by Lauren Greenfield.

Documentary 2019 101 mins

Director: Lauren Greenfield


Having spent her years as the First Lady of the Philippines on a heady monopolistic rampage, buying up European jewellery shops and iconic New York skyscrapers, Imelda Marcos is looking for a way to regain control. Her former peers, including the widows of governmental figures, tell the story of a woman scarred by an emotional blow that transformed her into the bulletproof-bra-wearing megalomaniac, who now mythologises her mothering instincts. Female journalists and activists share their horrific experiences of torture under the martial law that the Marcoses initiated, as Imelda was busy displacing an entire island of people to have her own African zoo.

This rare focus on the female experience in dictatorships explores the complexity of contemporary Philippine politics and the sinister future it faces.