There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.
Thoreaus words came back to me while watching THE KINGMAKER, Lauren
Greenfields riveting documentary about Imelda Marcos, widow of the
late Filipino dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
Imelda was a poor but upright girl when she married Ferdinand and became
the countrys First Lady. It didnt take long for power to corrupt
her. She began dipping into public funds to buy real estate, jewelry,
dresses, paintings and three or four thousand pairs of shoes-insisting
all the while that she was the mother of the Filipines and
the nations savior.
In THE KINGMAKER, the aged, overweight, heavily Botoxed Imelda-she
looks like Jonathan Winters in drag-proudly shows off her loot,
which is on display everywhere in the Filipino mansion in which she lives
today, surrounded by toadies and sycophants who fawn over her with sickening
But THE KINGMAKER is more than just a portrait of a greedy, grotesque
old woman. Greenfields film goes much deeper and further than that.
Using home movies and historical footage, talking-head interviews and
investigative journalism, THE KINGMAKER shows how Imelda and her clan
have once again taken control of the Filipines and are running it as they
Marcos is dead, entombed in a glass coffin like Lenin, and his widow Imelda
has been exposed for the horror she is, but the billions they stole still
sit in banks and investments around the world. This vast fortune has enabled
Imelda to wield power over the Filipines, become a kingmaker.
Opposition leaders made a push to try and locate those funds and return
them to the nation, but a rigged election resulted in a law being passed
that curtailed any further investigations. Emboldened, Imeldas next
step was to encourage one of her sons, a spoiled brat named Bong Bong,
to run for Vice President. Then she bankrolled the election campaign of
the man who eventually became president of the Filipines, an ex-cop named
A strong man like Ferdinand Marcos before him, Duterte has
ruled over the Filipines with a ruthless hand, using martial law to execute
(without a trial) those he deems dangerous or subversive (drug dealers,
drug addicts, journalists, intellectuals, civil-rights leaders). This
despot has won the praise of our president, who called him a very
great man...and showered him with military and financial aid. Duterte
also receives lavish support from Imelda Marcos, his secret boss.
THE KINGMAKER is a portrait of the real Imelda Marcos. The
woman we have always thought of as a comic character, The Shoe Lady, is
in truth one of the most sinister and evil women the world has ever known.