The Search for Weng Weng

Andrew Leavold

A B-film fanatic, driven by his obsessive curiosity about the fate of a miniature 007-imitator, ends up in the Philippines on a trip through film history, and even visiting Imelda Marcos. Weng Weng’s grotesque biography illustrates how relative certain cultural norms and categories can be.

Australian video shop owner and cult-lover Andrew Leavold traces the story behind Weng Weng, the actor with dwarfism who played the lead in several Filipino cult and exploitation films, such as James Bond-remakes with titles like For Y’ur Heigh Only (Eddie Nicart, 1981) and various other low-budget genre films, ranging from westerns to martial arts movies.
The documentary focuses not only on the - at times hilarious - mythical and mysterious proportions the stories about Weng Weng take on during Leavold’s seven-year quest, but also on the tragedy hiding behind the short life of the small superstar. At the same time, the film zooms out and investigates the Weng Weng phenomenon in the broader context of a more layered Filipino film culture: the ‘Golden Age’ of the Filipino film industry and the first edition of the Manila International Film Festival.

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