A Thousand Cuts (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 2h 0m

President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless and ongoing war on drugs has plagued the Philippines since 2016, resulting in thousands of government-led murders. With sweeping access, A Thousand Cuts explores the intrepid work of journalist Maria Ressa and her passionate team of reporters at the truth-telling online news site Rappler, along with narratives of two political individuals who support Duterte’s actions. Secretary Mocha Uson uses her music-star past to fuel a social media movement in Duterte’s favor, while General Ronald dela Rosa (aka “Bato”) fervently supports the assault on all drug users. Girded within these personal threads is a terrifying look at the breadth of Duterte’s wrath—which is implemented both directly on the streets, with increasing body counts, and virtually, using disinformation networks designed to attack challengers such as Ressa and her colleagues, who tirelessly attempt to separate the truth from the lies. Although thousands of miles distant, this environment of constant attack, cultivated fear, and “fake news” has a chilling resonance for the American people. KR