Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Karen R. Miller

Subject Categories

Asian American Studies | Asian History | Film and Media Studies | Place and Environment | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Culture


Kidlat Tahimik, Third Cinema, Philippines, Turumba, Perfumed Nightmare, Why is Yellow Middle of Rainbow?


Kidlat Tahimik, who achieved international renown during the Marcos regime for his film Perfumed Nightmare (Mababangong Bangungot, 1976), is relatively unknown outside of international film circles. Considered a pioneer of Third Cinema in the Philippines, a radical film movement from Latin America that has since inspired similar movements globally, Tahimik challenged cultural hegemony in a postcolonial, post-World War II Philippines through the production of imperfect films. This paper looks to three of Tahimik's films - Perfumed Nightmare, Turumba (1983), and Why is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow? (Bakit Dilaw Ang Kulay ng Bahaghari, 1994) - for an alternative Filipino narrative as the current president Rodrigo Duterte seeks to overpower an already weak Philippine democracy using shades of the country's traumatic nationalist mythology under the guise of law and order. Using anthropological concepts of body and space in collaboration with film analysis and theory, this paper investigates Tahimik's concern for the rituals and traditions of an other Philippines remaindered by globalization, military occupation, and political upheaval so that we might also confront the same as a form of resistance.