«Don't think of me as a master but as a slave»

 

Kidlat Tahimik presented his Slaveclass in Room 1 at Paseo Aldrey. Tahimik does not want to be seen as a master "but as a slave” –hence, the change of the name of the masterclass-. The Filipino director spoke for over two hours about his films and his way of seeing the word. Cecilia Barrionuevo introduced Tahimik as one of the "most independent of independent filmmakers”, and stressed the "huge honor of having him” after a long trip.

Before the talk, his computer broke down but that did not stop him from screening his films. Tahimik took advantage of this "cosmic plan” to talk about his conception of the world. Over a table he displayed wooden objects, with which he summed up his "Theory of the Elf”. With a Marilyn Monroe curved in her classic pose with her skirt in the air; Lihangin, the goddess of wind; a cellulose eagle that represents the Hollywood industry and an artist with a bamboo camera, the vital Filipino director explained his decision to "narrate local stories”.

For Tahimik, the "Elf” is that inner creative strength we all have inside. It is the opposite of, by definition, Western ways of success where individualism and rivalry come before sensitivity. Thus, Quiet Thunder stripped his elf before the audience to explain why he chooses his cultural roots instead of foreign imitation: "It’s very easy to copy blockbusters and make Star Wars 75 or Indiana Jones 3420, but maybe the world needs new voices, new ways of looking at the world”.

As part of the class, fragments of Perfumed Nightmare, I’am a furious yellow and Balikbayan #1 –his latest finished film after 35 years of work- were screened. Kidlat Tahimik stressed that "the world can’t go on existing like this”, and that it is necessary to put a cultural stop to such a destructive consumerism. One of his main concerns is the constant damage of men against "mother nature”. According to him, we are all responsible, and from our position we must do everything we can to avoid it.

This feature is seen in his work that, according to Cecilia Barrionuevo, is "unclassifiable”. His latest film uses all the technologies invented throughout the years during which he made it: from 8mm to IPhone. No doubt, the sensibility of this 73-year-old man is something to pay attention to. His message aims at building a better world, where we privilege ourselves but without making differences, where we do not treat each other like enemies.

 

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