Marcos puts the boot in over film

FILIPINOS know all about the breathtaking shoe and jewellery collections Imelda Marcos amassed during two decades as first lady, but a Manila court is making them wait before being able to watch a film she says makes a joke of her life.

After complaints from Mrs Marcos’s lawyers, a judge yesterday issued a 20-day restraining order on the documentary, Imelda, which had been due for an advance media screening yesterday and general release on 7 July.

"This is a good omen," an aide quoted Mrs Marcos as saying.

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The judge, who said the complaint had enough merit to halt the film for now, ordered Mrs Marcos to post a 100,000 peso (980) bond to stop the release of the film while the court deliberated whether to ban it.

"We will abide by the court order," said Fely Arroyo, a lawyer for the film-distribution company. "We will study our options."

The film has won good reviews and the best cinematography award at the Sundance Film festival in the United States this year, but it upset the 74-year-old widow by hinting that Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos amassed illegal wealth during his iron-fisted rule. She said last week that she had thrown a disk of the film into a bin after watching it, complaining that the makers had betrayed her trust by pretending to be working on a university project.

In her petition, Mrs Marcos, who has never been convicted despite facing dozens of criminal charges and civilian lawsuits, argued that the film would cause her "extreme and irreparable injury and injustice" and violate her right to privacy.