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Directed by Kidlat Tahimik

Philippines 2015 146 mins.

The latest piece by acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik (The Perfumed Nightmare) was a filmic voyage spanning 35 years. Winner of the Caligari Prize at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, Balikbayan #1 tells the story of Enrique, Magellan’s slave (arguably a Filipino) who inadvertently became the first person to ever circumnavigate the globe. “In the film, Enrique (played by the director himself) does not appear as the object of European exploitation, but rather as a kind of shrewd cosmopolitan from the Global South. Kidlat Tahimik began working on his film about Enrique in 1979, but for personal reasons never completed it. Not until more than three decades later has he now been able to finish it, almost without a budget—partly thanks to new developments in media technology (some of the new footage was shot with an iPhone).”—Tilman Baumgartel. “A sui generis historical epic, the film freely mixes genres, integrates a variety of formats and features a carousel of actors spanning three generations—it may very well be Tahimik’s magnum opus.”—Giovanni Marchini Camia, Filmmaker Magazine.

Genres: Drama



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