Keimena #23: Mababangong bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare)
by Kidlat Tahimik

Due to copyright reasons only a short segment of the film can be shown here.

Monday May 22, 2017, 24:00 on ERT2
Mababangong bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare), 1977, Germany/Philippines, 93 min.
Director: Kidlat Tahimik

Perfumed Nightmare is directed by the self-taught filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik, who also plays the lead role. It tells the story of a humble, small-town lad who drives a “jeepney,” one of the trucks left behind by the US military that are still the main form of public transportation in the Philippines. A devotee of space-age technology, yearning for the progress it promises, Kidlat journeys from Philippine village to European metropolis. When he gets there, he discovers a modernity just as inhumane as the postcolonial reality he left behind.

The mid-1970s was a fertile time for Philippine art and cinema. Both were constrained, but also stimulated, under the US-backed “conjugal dictatorship” of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Their patronage of art—including vanguard styles and celebrations of Indigenous culture—went hand in hand with tyranny and the worst excesses of crony capitalism. Yet after four centuries of colonial oppression and drastically uneven development, the nation’s many problems pointed to a much wider world, one newly interconnected by electronic technologies and economic turmoil. This is the story we now call “globalisation,” begun in the Philippines in 1521 by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

Kidlat knew more about all this than he did about filmmaking—he held a prestigious American MBA and had worked as an economist in Paris. Perfumed Nightmare, his first film, is a landmark of independent cinema, a ramshackle bridge short-circuiting the system that had kept first- and third-world experiences apart.

—David Teh, curator, critic, and Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore

Posted in Public TV on 05.22.2017
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#23 Mababangong bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare)

by Kidlat Tahimik

Mababangong bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare), 1977, Germany/Philippines, 93 min.
Director: Kidlat Tahimik

Perfumed Nightmare by Kidlat Tahimik tells the unforgettable story of a local boy who drives from…

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