kidlat tahimik

Kidlat Tahimik 
National Artist for Film (2018)
Birthday: 3 October 1942

Kidlat Tahimik has continually invented himself through his cinema, and so his cinema is as singular as the man. His debut film, Mababangong Bangungot (1977), was praised by critics and filmmakers from Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa and is still considered by many as a pioneering postcolonial essay film. Tahimik’s intense independence as an artist and, at the same time, the film itself called for Filipinos to actively live out their independence and not allow their culture to be imperialized by the west. Kidlat’s “imperfect” film is an exemplar of what is worldwide known as “Third Cinema,” a cinema that is critical of neocolonial exploitation and state oppression. But, unlike other Third Cinema films, Kidlat’s work does not glory in ugliness. His films, even those that lament injustice and violence, are premised on the hope of possible, though yet unrealized, triumph. His constant claim is that whatever “progress” has relegated to the realm of sadness and poverty should never remain self-referentially sad or poor.

Notable Works:

  • Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux (2015)
  • Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi (1996)
  • Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow? (1983-1994)
  • Orbit 50: Letters to My 3 Sons (1990-1992)
  • Turumba (1983)
  • Who Invented the Yoyo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy? (1979)
  • Mababangong Bangungot/Perfumed Nightmare (1977)

List of Awardees