Kidlat Tahimik (the nom de cinema of Eric de Guia) was born in the Philippines in 1942, and, in his own words, slept ‘in a cocoon of Americanised dream’ for his first 33 years. The Perfumed Nightmare (Germany/Philippines, 1977, 93′) is a quasi-autobiographical film that marks his ‘rebirth’ as a film-maker.
The debut of a self-taught director and father of Philippine independent cinema puts us in the back seat of a “jeepney” (one of the many American Army jeepsabandoned after the end of World War II and later appropriated as means of public transport), while the driver, “played” by the filmmaker himself, is a young man who dreams of becoming an astronaut. Crossing back and forth between two realms (the colony and the metropolis, fiction and documentary, dream and survival) this playful, sardonic hybrid remains to this day one of the most original creation stories in the history of world cinema.
In his small village, Kidlat dreams of Cape Canaveral and listens to the Voice of America; he’s even the president of his village’s Werner Von Braun fan club. Winner of the Berlin Film Festival International Critics Award and a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival.