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IMELDA

USA, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Documentaries)

Director: Ramona Diaz

Imelda USA

'I've been very misunderstood', complains Imelda Marcos, wife of the former Philippine dictator, a woman who cemented dozens of dead workers into the foundations of an architectural monument to her vanity. 'I sent flowers to all the families', she reminds us. This rivetting documentary lifts the lid on the life of the woman as notorious for her shoe collection as for her human rights abuses.

In the years since her husband's corrupt regime was toppled, Imelda's life has taken some bizarre turns. Although the millions she salted away in secret accounts were seized, she still seems to be able to run a palatial Hawaiian household, complete with servants and an enormous wardrobe of garish frocks, her current obsession. The film is a thorough examination of her entire career from beauty queen to Dragon Lady: the scandals, attempts on her life, movie stardom and disgrace.

'Mrs. Marcos comes off alternately as cagey, pragmatic, open, manipulative, emotionally vulnerable and nobody's fool.' -Variety

'Diaz's documentary captures a complex and contradictory world figure. Imelda is by turns humorous, insightful and infuriating.' -The Hollywood Reporter

D/P Ramona Diaz WS Films Transit International L English, Spanish w/English subtitles TD Video/Col, B&W/2003/103mins

Ramona Diaz's films include: Spirits Rising (1996).

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