Philippines court restrains ‘Imelda’

20-day temporary restraining order issued against doc

HOLLYWOOD — The Philippines’ former first lady Imelda Marcos on Thursday won the first round in her attempt to ban a controversial documentary about her in her homeland.

The Makati Regional Trial Court issued a 20-day temporary restraining order against “Imelda,” which opens in Los Angeles today.

The order against U.S.-based helmer Ramona Diaz’s doc, which won a cinematography award at Sundance, prevented a press screening in Manila Thursday and will set back its Philippines debut, slated for July 7.

In her petition, Marcos argued the film would cause her “extreme and irreparable injury and injustice” and violate her right to privacy.

The pic upset the 74-year-old widow by hinting that she and Ferdinand Marcos amassed illegal wealth during his 21-year rule that ended in the 1986 People Power revolt.

The judge agreed to halt the film and ordered her to post a 100,000 peso ($1,780) bond to stop the public release of the movie while the court deliberated whether to ban it altogether.

Distributor Unitel Pictures will file an appeal.

“Mrs. Marcos signed a release form,” Unitel prexy Tony Gloria said.

Gloria and Baltimore-based Diaz have been in L.A. for the doc’s screening.

“I am surprised, because I heard she liked it,” said Diaz. “She speaks of inaccuracies but she talks in 80% of the film.”

“Imelda” has been playing in New York since June 9 and in San Francisco since June 11, and has made the fest rounds including Rotterdam, New Zealand, Melbourne, Flanders and Valladolid (Spain).

(Reuters contributed to this report.)

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