Session 10: Who Invented the Yo-Yo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy?

Who Invented the Yoyo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy? [Sinong Lumikha ng Yoyo? Sinong Lumikha ng Moon Buggy?], Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines / West Germany, 1979, 16mm (transferred to Blu-ray), colour, 94 minutes.

Sinong Lumikha ng Yoyo? Sinong Lumikha ng Moon Buggy? (Who Invented the Yo-Yo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy?) by Kidlat Tahimik, 1979
Image courtesy Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Marian Stefanowski

Film screening followed by a Q&A with Kidlat Tahimik
Monday 21 March 2016, 7.30pm, Goethe-Institut[Map]
Tickets free – £3. Book here


In 1979, Kidlat Tahimik directed a sequel to Perfumed Nightmare, the equally brilliant, tender and politically relevant Who Invented the Yo-Yo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy?. In this film, the character Kidlat Tahimik returns to pursue his dream of space conquest, setting up operations in Bavaria, in the imagined country of “Yodelburg”, in order to establish his Philippines Official Moon Project (P.O.M.P.). In this self-proclaimed “third world space adventure”, a traditional farm in Bavaria becomes a space laboratory allowing the filmmaker to create, with the help of his family (and assistants), a wondrous world made of discarded waste and found objects. According to Kidlat Tahimik, the yo-yo and the moon buggy are both Filipino inventions that allowed for the conquest of the moon, and it is therefore important to gain recognition of this fact, placing the Philippines at the centre of world-history, not at its periphery.

Kidlat’s adventures as a guest worker in Germany, his background in the Philippines, his real and invented memories and visions, are moulded into a unique and moving film that “opens the windows to the cosmos”. Invented and assembled objects, performance, humour, a marvellous use of sound and animation, all contribute to make this a very special work. The history of the Philippines, its place in the world, its troubled politics and the suppression of its colonial past, are present throughout the film, with the shadow of Spanish and US occupation, the weight of religion in Filipino culture, and the diaspora from the Philippines hovering over the playful and personal narrative that Kidlat Tahimik invents for himself.

Who Invented the Yoyo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy? [Sinong Lumikha ng Yoyo? Sinong Lumikha ng Moon Buggy?], Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines / West Germany, 1979, 16mm (transferred to Blu-ray), colour, 94 minutes.

With thanks to Tobias Hering and Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Open City Documentary Festival, Goethe-Institut London.

Print Courtesy of Cinematrix (Japan)

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