Combining ‘indigenous’ with ‘genius

Combining ‘indigenous’ with ‘genius

Documentary on Kidlat Tahimik now out

WHEN National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Eric Oteyza de Guia — better known as Kidlat Tahimik — heard his Ifugao mentor Lopes Na-Uyac mispronounce the word “indigenous,” the gears started turning in his head.

This mispronunciation combined the words “indigenous” and “genius” into one, which Mr. Tahimik interpreted as a form of genius residing in the knowledge of natives, especially in terms of harmony with nature.

The documentary INDIO-GENIUS: 500 Taon ng Labanang Kultural follows him fleshing out this concept while making a similar-titled exhibit using all-organic materials. The exhibit is currently housed in the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP).

Pablo Gabriel Malvar of The Extra Mile Productions directed the film for Victory Liner’s “Know Your North” series, an initiative documenting the rich culture of the Philippines’ northern region.

Being the storyteller assigned to tell the story of a renowned storyteller put Mr. Malvar under a lot of pressure — but it was incredibly exciting, too.

“We first met in 2016, and I noticed he has a very active mind. Great artists can’t pin down their thoughts. It’s like trying to catch fish,” he said at the documentary’s first screening on Nov. 30 in Manila.

A second part to the film is in the works, he added.

The “Know Your North” series focuses on the country’s northern region, spanning various themes, from environmental protection to heritage preservation.

Premiering the latest installment centered on Mr. Tahimik’s exhibit at NMP during Andres Bonifacio’s 160th birth anniversary with university students in attendance also gave the film more meaning, said Mr. Malvar.

“I’m hoping the documentary gets Filipino youths, students, and artists inspired seeing one of our greatest minds at work,” he said.

The premiere also served as a send-off for the INDIO-GENIUS exhibition at the National Museum of Anthropology, which runs until the end of the month. After the screening, Mr. Tahimik gave all students present an in-depth tour of the entire exhibition, in which he shared tidbits about its creation.

Victory Liner, Inc.’s “Know Your North” team said that several public screenings are being planned. For updates, stay tuned to the official “Know Your North” Facebook page. — Brontë H. Lacsamana