Imelda | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

"My mother? Get beyond the shoes!" urges Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in this engrossing documentary (2003, 103 min.) about the former first lady of the Philippines. Of course, what lies beyond Imelda Marcos's shoe collection (3,000 pairs by one estimate) is the $659 million that she and her husband funneled into Swiss bank accounts during their three decades in power. (Another source in the movie puts their take at $10 billion.) Filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz chronicles Imelda's rise from Manila beauty queen to Filipino icon, intercutting contemporary interviews in which she calmly rationalizes her and her husband's rapacity. Her queenly conviction that her personal beauty is a divine gift to her people would be easier to dismiss were it not shared by certain British monarchs and American first ladies. Landmark's Century Centre.

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