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The debut feature from documentary filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz, Imelda is a profile of one of the most famous and powerful women in recent international history. As told by the woman herself, the film traces the life of Imelda Marcos, focusing intently on her time as the first lady of The Philippines. In addition to accounts from Marcos and her personal associates, the film presents contrasting views of the past from journalists and political adversaries. Imelda had its North American premiere at
Sep 12, 2009 Wide
May 31, 2005
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Makes up for what it lacks in political and historical depth by providing a stunning study in the sheer imperviousness of the unchecked and over empowered ego.
Mostly it's Marcos' mysterious sway over those who stood to lose the most from her power, coupled with her amazing inability to face that fact, that makes Imelda maddeningly fascinating.
Diaz's portrait of Imelda Marcos attempts to get beyond the shoe thing, into the gothic heart of 40 years of Philippine politics.
At its most acridly useful when comparing the former first lady's recollections with others' less sanguine memories.
Even though Marcos, in this film, provides enough material for a few hundred giggles and head-shakings, she also shows a pathetically human side.
In addition to being a shrewd character study, Diaz's sharply assembled film reminds us that charm can be as toxic as anything else when it comes to acquiring, holding and abusing power.
If the shoe fits, go for it, Cinderella might advise. But how about 3,000 pairs of them.
[Documents] a once-in-a-lifetime development of a certain personality type, the result of which isn't as simple to pin down as we'd expect.
There may be no new revelations in Imelda, but the film still proves highly instructive in the ways in which power corrupts and politics attracts the opportunistic.
Instead of enabling Marcos to tell the world how caring she is, the movie gives her enough rope to hang herself, and she does, again and again.
Although the fact that Imelda does most of the talking begins to feel like election year rhetoric or just plain propaganda, there's something perversely fascinating in listening to such sincere self-deception.
The sole conclusion you can make at the end of Diaz's repetitive film is that Madam Marcos is as mad as a hatter.
She emerges as an energetic, narcissistic, and totally self-deluded woman.
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