National Artist Kidlat Tahimik finally finishes film after 45 years –

BAGUIO, Philippines — Revolutionary filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik outdid himself once again by finally completing a 45-year-old work of art.
He started shooting half of the film in 1978 using a 60-mm acetate film, which accumulated in large amounts at that time, and went on to shoot the remaining parts over time in various formats. From acetate, the movie went on to employ the video format until technology brought filmmaking into the digital age.
Titled "Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VII," the revered filmmaker, along with his bamboo cinema, presents an aural and video tapestry of his alternative post-colonialist version of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition that led to the first recorded circumnavigation of the Earth.
Inspired by Antonio Pigafetta's journals, "Balikbayan #1" follows the exploits of Magellan's slave, Enrique de Malacca, as he sails with the Portuguese sailor and eventually completes a roundabout journey from his point of origin in Spain to the island of Mactan in Cebu. 
Redux I of "Balikbayan #1" premiered in 2015. Redux VII contains scenes from the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as recent photography that was used in the last frames of the film. The latter is said to screen this year at an international film festival. 
In 2013, Tatay Kidlat, as film enthusiasts fondly call him, started the construction of the Ili-likha Artists Watering Hole. "This structure initially took two years to construct. It was an anti-mall concept and artists are the sellers within the complex where they sell merchandise not found in the malls.
"In 2018, we constructed the cinema, Balanghay ni Iking (named after Enrique de Malacca) as an outlet purely for indie works. Most of the lumber used herein are from trees felled by the typhoons that visited Baguio. So everytime a typhoon was over, I called the city hall and asked them that we clear the streets of the trees," shared the filmmaker, while giving a tour around the intimate theater setting.
"Forty years ago, I was not seriously 'regional.' The local story is what took center stage because I'm from here in Baguio," he continued.
After his 1977 obra "Perfumed Nightmare," his opus "Balikbayan #1" will go down the annals of film history as the film that took almost half a century to complete! 
The over two-hour drama stars Mitos Benitez, Jeff Cohen, Kabunyan de Guia, Katrin de Guia, Kawayan de Guia, Marita Manzanillo, Danny Orquico, Craig Scharlin, George Steinberg, Wig Tysmans and Marlies von Brevern.
RELATED: Philippine history according to Kidlat Tahimik is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!


Leave a Comment