Docufilm on Duterte's drug war gets US release

TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2019 05:52 AM

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Award-winning filmmakers James Jones and Olivier Sarbil have teamed up to produce what they call a “cinematic investigation” on the bloody drug war in the Philippines.

The documentary film, entitled "On The President's Orders," is a searing, on-the-ground look at President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly campaign against drug dealers and suspected drug users in the Philippines, producers said.

It is told with unprecedented access to police officials implicated in the killings, families of drug users and others involved in the war on drugs.

"On The President’s Orders" will debut at Cinema Village in New York on Oct. 4 and Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on Oct. 18.

It will also air nationwide in the US on PBS Broadcast in October. A special press preview is set for Sept. 24 in Los Angeles.

The documentary film was included as official selection of 2019 Sheffield DocFest in United Kingdom; 2019 HotDocs Film Festival in Toronto, Canada; 2019 Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York and 2019 CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Variety described "On The President's Orders" as "a wholly cinematic, sensory experience, with straight-ahead reportage electrified by glaring streetlights and a panicked urban wall of sound."

Meanwhile, Film Inquiry said the documentary film is "the disturbing observational documentary we've needed about the Philippines drug war, made with finesse and astonishing access."

Jones, a British director and producer, and Sarbil, a French director and cinematographer, have been producing award-winning documentaries focusing on critical social issues all over the world. Their most recent work together was the Emmy-winning and critically acclaimed documentary "Mosul."