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Afterimage: The Films of Kidlat Tahimik, Indigenius

Sunday, November 18, 2012
5:00 p.m. Memories of Overdevelopment and Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi
Kidlat Tahimik (Philippines, 1980–2011)

In Person/Kidlat Tahimik


For the past thirty-some years, Tahimik has worked on a masterpiece that may never be finished: Memories of Overdevelopment, loosely inspired by the true adventures of the explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s Filipino navigator/slave, Enrique, yet just as much a testament to the director’s (and Philippine culture’s) own ingenuity, resourcefulness, and meanderings. Made up of documentary footage, staged reenactments, and clips “borrowed” from random Hollywood detritus, shot on fragments of 16mm, videotape, and digital from across the decades, Memories shifts the gaze (and praise) from colonizer to colonized, and for Tahimik raises “the questions as to who was the master and who was the slave.” Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi also refers to Enrique, who while traveling the globe never abandoned his traditional garb, the bahag loincloth; with similar pride, Tahimik dons the bahag to dance with his Japanese hosts, and pays tribute to those who draw “strength not from brawn or body, but from the strength of their culture.” Visits to artisan woodcarvers, busy creating sculpted figures that owe more to the indigenous ideal than Hollywood’s, and constant shots of bodies in motion fittingly anchor this earthly, ever-moving work on the relationship between the human body and the arts.

Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi
 (Bahag Ko, Mahal Ko) Philippines, 1996, 41 mins, Color, 16mm, From the artist, permission Aichi Art Center

Memories of Overdevelopment (Ang Balikbayan) Philippines, 1980–2011, 33 mins, Color, DigiBeta, From Jeonju International Film Festival

Total running time: 74 mins


—Jason Sanders