The article explores the archive imperative in the 1995 film Bontoc Eulogy by Filipino American photographer and filmmaker Marlon Fuentes. The archive imperative is a decolonizing aesthetic and political strategy that challenges American colonial visual regimes and knowledge production, particularly in the representations and legibility of Filipino bodies. Fuentes's archive imperative encompasses the multivalent compositional and conceptual crossings that the filmmaker makes in his search for his “grandfather.” Close readings are performed on key moments of the film that draw attention to Fuentes as a postcolonial visual archivist and his film as a postcolonial archive. Fuentes produces queer composite bodies as embodied archives that reconfigure modes of knowledge production that visualizes Filipino bodies in the film as sites of nonnormative, counterarchival knowledge production.
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Jan Christian Bernabe; Queer Reconfigurations: Bontoc Eulogy and Marlon Fuentes's Archive Imperative. positions 1 November 2016; 24 (4): 727–759. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-3666012
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