Session 11: Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?

Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow? (Bakit Dilaw Ang Kulay ng Bahaghari) by Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines, 1994, 16mm, colour, 175 minutes. English (with Japanese subtitles).

Film screening followed by a Q&A with Kidlat Tahimik

Tuesday 22 March 2016, 7.30pm, ICA Cinema 1 [Map]
Tickets £7.00 to £11.00, book here

Kidlat Tahimik has often referred to filmmaking as the equivalent of a long trip. In Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?, that conception is fully developed as Kidlat and his son travel through over a decade of political turmoil and natural catastrophes that have ravaged the Philippines. Assembled into chronologically ordered sections, each given a “colour of the rainbow”, plus an introduction and an epilogue, this is a monumental, personal and open-ended cinematic essay, chronicling the journeys of father and son, their encounters and rites of passage. It provides a window onto the universe of Kidlat Tahimik, espousing a utopian vision of life, nature and identity wide in its scope and implications.

“Unfolds the document of a literal journey, an open-ended road-trip film, part travelogue, part personal essay and diary, part ethnographic film, part chronicle of a series of adventures that will carry the two main protagonists and their friends and family across several continents and into the Philippine cordillera; through the turbulent political events of the Philippines in the 80s, from the last days of the Marcos dictatorship to the birth of a democratic state; through the utopian anticipation of the political movement that brought that state into being and its subsequent disappointing reality; through the young Kidlat’s farewell to the innocence of childhood to the onset of puberty and the tumult of adolescence; and through a series of natural disasters that threaten at every moment to bring everything – figuratively and quite literally – crashing down.”

“In an age of rising seas and collapsing economies, the film shows us how to be furious at all the injustice in the world but also how to face that injustice with the utmost joy. There are indeed few, if any, films like this….” (Christopher Pavsek, The Utopia of Film – Cinema and Its Futures in Godard, Kluge, and Tahimik)


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)