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The Kingmaker

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Denmark, United States

1h 40m

Director Lauren Greenfield
Starring Imelda Marcos
Genre Documentary
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An extraordinary look into the controversial political career of Imelda Marcos. As the former First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos is best known for her opulent lifestyle, but it was her behind-the-scenes influence of her husband's presidency that rocketed her to the global political forefront. A journey through the Marcos family's long history of corruption, extravagance and brutality.


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The Playlist by Chris Barsanti

Maybe Marcos imagined this documentary would humanize her. Greenfield did. But not in the way that her subject would have preferred.

TheWrap by Elizabeth Weitzman

Though Greenfield is too skilled to overplay her intentions, the picture that emerges gains additional power from its clarifying distance. The Kingmaker is required viewing for anyone concerned about the direction of their own democracy.

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The Kingmaker clarifies the harrowing situation facing the future of the Philippines, but more than that, it’s a warning sign for the entire world.

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

The Kingmaker may end on a queasy note of alarm about the Philippines’ future, but it also reminds us that we neglect the past at our peril.

The A.V. Club by Lawrence Garcia

While researching the project, Greenfield herself thought she might find a “redemption story.” But the film eventually proves to be a far more troubling examination of the Marcoses’ continued political hold in the Philippines.

Variety by Peter Debruge

Marcos’ print-the-legend philosophy has particular resonance in a post-truth world, although such sinister undertones sneak up on audiences in a movie that begins, innocently enough, as the latest of Greenfield’s astonishing portraits of wealth run amok.

Screen Daily by Tim Grierson

An enraging portrait of entitlement, opulence and corruption, The Kingmaker starts as a profile of Imelda Marcos but soon widens its perspective to depict a Philippines in peril.

The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

An engaging, appalling but inevitably partial portrait of a woman who has navigated through countless political and personal squalls but remains irretrievably drawn to the flame of power.