Berlinale: Programme

Film File

NATIVe - Indigenous Cinema

Mababangong bangungot

The Perfumed Nightmare

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Kidlat Tahimik’s 1977 cult film is about crossing bridges. A bridge connects his native village Balian in the Philippines with the rest of the world; the young Kidlat dreams of a bridge to the moon and, when he arrives in Paris as a migrant worker, he is inspired by the architecture of bridges. In a poetically playful montage, the film dramatises the hero’s journey from jeepney driver in Balian - transporting figures of saints to the church and blocks of ice to factories - via an American friend to Paris. Once in the French capital, he begins to doubt ideas about boundless progress and profit.
Kidlat Tahimik himself plays the main role in his story of the attempt to bridge the gap between Western and Filipino lifestyles. He applies the same mischievous humour to all of his observations – whether he is enthusing about technology, or criticising postcolonial structures and the West’s frenzied globalisation. This self-taught filmmaker’s cinematic debut was the first Philippine film to make it into cinemas in Germany. It was celebrated by international film critics as a milestone in postcolonial filmmaking due to its idiosyncratic aesthetics and political themes.

Kidlat Tahimik

Philippines / Germany 1977

English, Tagalog, French, German

93’ · Colour


Kidlat Tahimik
Hartmut Lerch


Written and directed by
Kidlat Tahimik
Hartmut Lerch, Kidlat Tahimik
Kidlat Tahimik
Hans Christian Müller


Kidlat Tahimik

Born as Eric Oteyza de Guia in Baguio City in the Philippines in 1942, he first studied mechanical engineering, then speech communication and theatre arts. He spent some time in the United States, France and Germany before returning to the Philippines in 1975 to make his first film, Mababangong bangungot (The Perfumed Nightmare) in 1977. Since then, he has been working as a filmmaker, installation artist, performer, lecturer and author.


1977 Mababangong bangungot (The Perfumed Nightmare); Forum 1979 Sinong Lumikha ng Yoyo? Sinong Lumikha ng Moon Buggy? (Who Invented the Yoyo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy?) 1981 Olympic Gold 1982 Yanki: Made in Hongkong 1983 Turumba 1984 Memories of Overdevelopment 1987 I Am Furious Yellow 1989 Takadera Mon Amour 1992 Orbit 50 (Letters to my Three Sons) 1994 Bakit Yellow ang Gitna ng Bahaghari? (Why Is Yellow Middle of Rainbow?) 1996 Bahag ko, Mahal ko (Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi) 1995 Our Bomb Mission To Hiroshima 2000 Banal-Kahoy (Holy Wood) 2003 Aqua Planet 2005 Some More Rice · Tatlong Atang at Isang Pagnakaw 2007 Bubong (Roofs of the World! Unite!) 2015 Balikbayan # 1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III; Forum

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019