The name Kidlat Tahimik (Quiet Lightning) quickly connotes contradiction. As an obsessive culture observer/ activist, Kidlat has been exploring his inner cultural contradictions (the value-confusions in a colonized mind) by making non-commercial/personal films since 1975. This process of “introspections on celluloid filmstrips” is his way of digging out the inner sariling dwende: our creative pre-colonial genius that has been buried in the colonizers “education” process. This search he shares with NextGen artists by mentoring young filmmakers– earning him the title “Father of Philippine Independent Cinema”.
For this inter-generational culture-awakening spirit, he was honored as a Laureate of the Fukuoka-Prize 2012– considered as a mini-Nobel prize in Japan for Asian. To this date, he is focused on his advocacies to revive our rich indigenous wisdom and tribal harmony with nature (what he calls our “pre-colonial indio-genius”) which have been buried under 4 centuries of colonial values.
Together with his Bavarian wife Dr. Katrin de Guia they have organized 3 international conferences that analyzied an indigenous core value: “Kapwa” (or the shared-self), which can be the Filipino contribution to a more balanced global culture.
His debut film Perfumed Nightmare(1977) and his latest work BalikBayan#1(2015) have been consistent journeys into the Filipino search for cultural liberation.