Joji Ravina

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Imelda Review


Excellent
The truly remarkable Imelda Marcos did history a great service by agreeing to sit down for an interview with documentarian Ramona S. Diaz for her searing documentary, Imelda. Though Marcos initially agreed to only 15 minutes, the talk ended up lasting five incredible hours, and the result, intercut with old news footage and comments from both her cronies and her opposition, is an unforgettable portrait of complete self-delusion.

Those who remember Imelda only as the dictator's wife who squandered her country's wealth on shoes are missing one hell of a story. It all begins in the southern Philippines, where Imelda was plucked from obscurity by appearing in a number of beauty pageants that led up to a second-place finish in a national contest. True to form, she bitched until the judges changed the results and declared her the winner. Imelda recounts this story with great amusement, and it's easy to see how her undeniable charm could work magic on everyone from Henry Kissinger to Saddam Hussein.

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