MANILA, Philippines – A Thousand Cuts, Fil-Am director Ramona Diaz’s documentary about democracy and press freedom in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte, will be streaming for free in the Philippines on June 12.
The documentary, which was part of the US Documentary Competition of the 2020 Sundance Festival, will be free to stream on the FRONTLINE YouTube Channel for only 24 hours. Only users based in the Philippines may access the documentary during the sneak preview.
The 24-hour sneak peek begins at 6 pm on June 12. Watch the film here.
A Thousand Cuts features Rappler’s Maria Ressa and several of this news organization’s writers and editors as they discuss the struggles of a free press under Duterte. The President, who was elected in 2016, has openly criticized Rappler and its reporters and banned Malacañang reporter Pia Ranada and Ressa from entering the compound, where the President is based.
The documentary follows Ressa, Rappler’s reporters, and several key government officials in the years and months leading up to the 2019 elections, which was largely seen as a referendum on Duterte and his administration. A majority of Duterte-allied candidates won in both legislative and local executive posts. Both houses of Congress are occupied by a supermajority that is allied with Duterte.
Diaz is a multi-awarded director who’s shot films that tackle everything – from Filipino rock stars to the wife of a dictator.
The film’s Philippine sneak peek just happens to take place on the same day that the country celebrates its Independence Day under one of the world’s longer and strictest coronavirus quarantines.
Rappler has faced several legal battles since 2016, including a cyber libel case over an article that came out even before the cyber libel law took effect. Ressa and former Rappler researcher Rey Santos are charged in the case. The judge is set to release a verdict on June 15, days after Independence Day.
Just after the 24-hour sneak peek ends, Ressa will be joining Diaz and FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath for a conversation on Saturday, June 13, at 8 pm, Philippine time. The virtual event is presented by FRONTLINE in cooperation with the International Center for Journalists. Register to join the conversation here. – Rappler.com