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Movie Review: The Kingmaker

I love the Philippines. But I know so little about the turbulent history of the Marcos era until I watched The Kingmaker. The film by Lauren Greenfield presents a caricature of Imelda Marcos, ex-First Lady of Philippines, wife of Ferdinand Marcos who was President from 1965-86. The last 8 years of his rule were marred with violence and oppression under martial law. Imelda Marcos is the Rosmah Mansor (ex-Malaysian PM’s Najib’s wife) of her time. An ex-beauty queen from humble beginnings, who caught the eye of a charismatic politician, their love story is as clich├ęd as can be. Except this story isn’t about love. It is about power and how a family’s insatiable greed for hedonistic pleasures (cue long shots of her 3000 pairs of designer shoes) and a life of decadence led to extreme means for political dominance. “Perception is reality, the truth is not,” states Imeda, midway through the film. The belief is repeatedly demonstrated with the director’s juxtaposition of Imelda Marcos’s personal narration of life events with contrasting witness accounts. From her …