Philippines · 1977 · HD · Color · 94' · o.v. English
5-15 | 8 | 2020 · Sub. French
Disponibile in Svizzera – Available in Switzerland
5-15 | 8 | 2020
Available on MUBI for the international audience: film availability varies depending on your location
Young Kidlat drives a jeepney, a bus derived from old US Army jeeps that have become a mode of public transport in the Philippines, and he realizes his dream to leave his small village and travel to a European metropolis, the embodiment of the technological advancement he idolizes. Instead, he discovers an inhumane modernity no better than the one he left behind. This picaresque adventure was the visionary debut of Kidlat Tahimik, picking up the FIPRESCI Award at the 1977 Berlinale before screening at Locarno the same year. A milestone of post-colonial independent filmmaking whose inventive, idiosyncratic humor reveals the illusory nightmare of the myth of the West.
Selected by Véréna Paravel e Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Directors of De Humani Corporis Fabrica
The cinematic shaman Kidlat Tahimik’s film, Mababangong Bangungot, has lost none of its unerring and unnerving magic over the years. Inventing at a stroke a wholly new genre of postcolonial picaresque, the film’s provocations, both in style and in substance, are as breathtaking in 2020 as they were in 1977. Its whimsical, quixotic self-fashioning of “Kidlat,” and his peregrinations around the Philippines and Europe, as he dissects and dismantles the obscenity and inanity of North American imperialism, European crypto-colonial modernity, and neo-liberal consumerist capitalism tout court, have, if anything, only increased in their prescience and pertinence since then. The film couples comedy and critique, absurdist humor and self-deprecating irony, like no other we know. An inimitable fabulist, and mythopoetic gadabout, Kidlat wryly thumbs his nose at the racist tropes of ethnographic film, travel documentaries, and Western primitivism in a fashion that no one before had dared and no one since has essayed. Almost half a century later, the world is now on fire. Marcos’ US-sponsored dictatorship already contained the seeds of Duherte’s, and as Duherte, Bolsonaro, Modi, Erdogan, Trump and their ilk strut their shit on the world’s sickening stage, screening Mababangong Bangungot today brings home with unremitting force many of the causes of our current global crisis. Kidlat’s ludic proclamation of imaginative freedom and cosmopolitanism, “I chose my vehicle and I can cross all bridges,” clamors to be heard as never before, even as it sounds ever more like utopian wish-fulfillment fantasy.
Kidlat Tahimik, Mang Fely, Dolores Santamaria
Hartmut Lerch, Kidlat Tahimik