BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI
16MM/8MM/VHS/Hi-8/Mini-DV/iPhone>DIGITAL, 160 MIN
ENGLISH/TAGALOG/TAGLISH (WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)
April 7, 2021 marked the quincentennial homecoming of Enrique de Malacca, the protagonist of Kidlat Tahimik’s BalikBayan. In the latest iteration of this work—BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI—Tahimik retells the saga of Enrique, a Malay captured by slavers and sold to Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Countering dominant colonial narratives, the film positions Enrique as a Filipino explorer and the first person to have successfully circumnavigated the globe, a title often credited to Magellan (who in fact died before the full completion of his journey). Playing the role of Enrique in 1979, Tahimik has continually revisited this story over the course of four decades using various media formats, from 8mm to iPhone footage. BalikBayan traces the story of Enrique’s voyage in an attempt to tell the colonial history of the Philippines from an Indigenous perspective—marked with a sense of humour, and through the lens of Tahimik’s bamboo camera.
This program will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Tobias Hering.
Since the 1970s, Kidlat Tahimik has explored his inner cultural contradictions by making films, earning him the title of “Father of Philippine Independent Cinema.” His film Perfumed Nightmare was awarded the International Critics Prize at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival. In 1979, the filmmaker began his lifelong project BalikBayan, which has received numerous international accolades, including the Caligari Prize at the Berlinale (2015). Major awards include: the Prince Claus Award (Netherlands 2017); the Fukuoka Prize (Japan 2012); and at home, Kidlat has been recognized as the National Artist for Cinema (Philippines 2018).
Tobias Hering is an independent film curator and writer who has frequently programmed and published about Kidlat Tahimik‘s work. He co-curated Tahimik’s first complete retrospective, titled “Cosmos and Nightmare,” at cinema Arsenal, Berlin in March 2016. He is currently directing the archive project re-selected at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and is the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, “Tell It to the Stones: Encounters with the Work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub” (Sternberg Press).