The Kingmaker

  • Lauren Greenfield
  • United States, Denmark
  • 2019
  • 100 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests, Focus: The Villain

The 90-year-old Imelda Marcos looks out sadly at the poverty in Manila through her car window. How different things were in the Philippines between 1965 and 1986, she says, when her husband Ferdinand Marcos was still in power. The former first lady takes out a thick wad of cash to hand out to beggars as she passes. And when she pays a visit to some young cancer patients, she produces another stack of banknotes.

Director Lauren Greenfield, who previously explored her fascination for the rich in Generation Wealth, now delves into the opulent life of the Marcos family. Imelda, a modern-day Marie Antoinette, says she wants to make the Philippines a paradise again. But where does she actually get all that money from?

While Marcos herself constantly advertises her own virtue, activists and political opponents talk about the devastating corruption in the Philippines. The contrast with Imelda’s proud, patriotic story becomes increasingly painful. The Kingmaker shows how money and power sustain each other, and how dark history repeats itself.


  • 100 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, Tagalog
  • Subtitles in: English
Lauren Greenfield
Lauren Greenfield for Evergreen Pictures, Frank Evers for Evergreen Pictures
Executive producer
Julie Parker Benello for Secret Sauce Media, Bill Haney, Dan Cogan for Impact Partners, R.J. Cutler, Geralyn Dreyfous for Impact Partners, Lilly Hartley for Candescent Films, Patricia Lambrecht, Nion McEvoy, Regina K. Scully for Artemis Rising Foundation, Jamie Wolf
Danish Documentary
Shana Hagan, Lars Skree

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests
Focus: The Villain

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies