The Indie Father
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Eric de Guia, popularly known as Kidlat Tahimik, is a living piece of history in the Philippine film industry. He is dubbed as the “Father of Philippine Independent Cinema” by film experts and is lovingly known as “tatay” by local indie film makers and artists in his hometown. He gave up his full-time job as an economist to dedicate his life for the arts, sharing the symbolic story of how he ripped his diploma apart when he fell in love with a film camera. He is a film director, writer and actor whose works often centered around neocolonialism. If themes of globalization, capitalism, tradition, gap between the rich and the poor are familiar when it comes to indie films, he is the man who started it all. Growing up from Baguio, Kidlat Tahimik was familiar to the sight of the U.S. Military that stationed around his hometown. This experience translated into his films, most notably the film that started his career and paved way to Independent films in the Philippines, Perfumed Nightmare (1977). A semi-autobiographical film, Perfumed Nightmare tells the tale of a bright-eyed cab driver who travels to Europe to pursue his dreams and to build a better life for himself. He later finds out that being in Europe wasn’t what it was made out to be. The cab driver witnessed vendors and artisans getting driven out of business for the sake of progress, he also received news that the same thing happened in his hometown, back in the province. The film begged prizes and international recognition from the Berlin Film Festival.  It is films such as his that move international audiences and create an awareness enough to cause intrigue towards the political and economic issues in Asia. Kidlat Tahmik’s notable films include Memories of Overdevelopment (1980), Who Invented the Yoyo? (1981), Turumba (1983).

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