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Imelda Director: Ramona Diaz
Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2004, Documentary Competition
Award: Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography, Documentary

From the 2004 Sundance Film Festival Catalog

Ramona Diaz's documentary film Imelda brilliantly delves into the life and work of Imelda Marcos, offering a rare and stunning glimpse of one of the world's richest and most powerful women. Imelda herself guides the viewer through her life story, from her days as a young beauty queen through her whirlwind romance with the future president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. The young Imelda had to adjust quickly to life in the spotlight as a politician's wife and over time developed into a highly influential person in her own right. As a de facto ambassador, Imelda negotiated meetings with world leaders while simultaneously hosting late-night parties for New York's cafe society.

This exquisite film tells more than one version of the same story. The film deftly crosscuts between the views of Mrs. Marcos and her confidantes to vastly differing accounts from opponents and journalists once imprisoned under her husband's martial law. Unprecedented access to the first lady, combined with remarkable personal footage chronicling Ferdinand and Imelda's lives, makes the film both intriguing and haunting.

As Imelda's son puts it, "get beyond the shoes" and allow this fascinating story of power gone awry, and one woman's supreme ability to reinvent herself time and time again, to captivate and enlighten you.

Why She Matters

Through her character-driven and investigative documentaries, Ramona Diaz has become the leading voice chronicling the Filipino experience. Diaz recently premiered her fourth feature documentary Motherland at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, which takes us into the “world’s busiest maternity ward” in Manila.

“[Motherland] is truly a remarkable work of documentary storytelling, raw, intimate and subsequently quite profound. We cannot help but marvel at Diaz’s apparently unlimited access to her subjects...we learn much about the resilience and perseverance of the human animal in these ordinary extraordinary circumstances. After all, what greater drama can there be than that of birth, life and death? Motherland has it all.”

—Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail, 2017

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