2007 marks thirty years since film became my magic carpet to film festivals around the globe. Yamagata has not been just another filmfest destination for me. Since its debut in 1989, YIDFF has been a special gathering among Asian filmmakers who, as kindred spirits of Ogawa Shinsuke, made the Yamagata Declaration: Asian Documentary film is alive and kicking!
In my film dedicated to Ogawa-san (Why Is Yellow Middle of the Rainbow?) you hear him laughing loudly—like a tribal chief. The narrator’s voice says, “Through a grain of rice, Ogawa found which tribe he comes from.” (The tribe that feasts on “celluloid spaghetti”?)
YIDFF has been a special festival; it helped raise my work Why Is Yellow Middle of the Rainbow? (I Am Furious Yellow)—just like a child. Through the first three versions of the YIDFF, my sons and I visited Yamagata (and Magino Village!). We were present on celluloid and in person. Each time it was like a family reunion with Yamagata audiences, who saw how my boys had grown since the previous version of I Am Furious Yellow.
YIDFF evolved over the years to become one of the most prestigious documentary festivals in the world. Let me confess that whenever the postman delivered YIDFF’s call for entries every two years, this sparked my energy to update my never-ending documentary. In other words, YIDFF continued to excite me even if my films failed to keep pace with the changes in YIDFF’s standards.
More than the honor of being a Juror, it is a great sentimental journey to return to the YIDFF for its tenth version. I look forward to mixing with Asian docu-makers and seeing their films. My greater expectation is to reconnect with the spirit of Ogawa’s legacy under the gaze of Mt. Zao. Another step in the quest (like Ogawa-san discovering his true self in a grain of rice) to find the tribe to which I belong.
Born in 1942 in Baguio City, the Philippines. After studying business management in the US, in 1972 he tore up his diploma and became an artist. He has worked continuously as a unique independent filmmaker since his 1977 debut with Perfumed Nightmare. Tahimik has frequently visited Japan since being invited for the Japan Foundation’s “A Panorama of South Asian Films” in 1982, and participated in four consecutive editions of YIDFF, from 1989 to 1995, screening various versions of Why Is Yellow Middle of the Rainbow? (I Am Furious Yellow) and presenting performances and installations. He currently resides in Baguio, where he holds workshops involving indigenous people and is resuming filming on a project he began in 1982, Magellan.
Why Is Yellow Middle of the Rainbow?
THE PHILIPPINES / 1994 / English, Tagalog / Color / 16mm / 175 min
Director, Script, Producer: Kidlat Tahimik
Photography: Kidlat Tahimik, Roberto Yniguez, Roberto Villanueva, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Kublai Abiad, Roy Jackson, Regina Tuazon, Kidlat Gottlieb
Editing: Kidlat Tahimik, Karl Fugunt, Maureen Gosling
Sound: Ed de Guia
Narrator: Kidlat Gottlieb
Mixing: Buddy Mendoza
Music: Boy Garrovillo, Shant Verdun
Continually expanded and reedited with new sections for screenings at YIDFF 1989, 1991, and 1993, filming for this magnificent “home movie” began in 1981, and follows the growth of the director’s own sons while overlaying Philippine history and culture. The 1994 version of this never-ending film returns to Yamagata.