When Rodrigo Duterte is elected president of the Philippines; he sets in motion a machinery of death to execute suspected drug dealers, users and small-time criminals. ASWANG follows people whose lives entwine with the growing violence during two years of killings in Manila.
The Philippines’ “war on drugs” is ultimately an autocrat’s war against the urban poor who catapulted him into power. How a people with a tradition of democratic values elected a provincial mayor to the country’s highest post on promises of restoring peace and order in the capital by – among other things - dumping the bodies of “drug pushers and do-nothings into Manila Bay and fattening the fish there” provides a sobering context within which we can examine our society. Marked by viciousness and impunity, the roots of this systemic violence run deep in this country’s capital and periphery. It is a history marked by protracted conflict in the countryside and violent deaths in the squalor of its cities.
IDFA 2019, Competition for First Appearance
Key festivals and awards
FIPRESCI Award, IDFA 2019
Director: Alyx Ayn Arumpac
Producers: Cinematografica (Philippines), Les Films de l'Oeil Sauvage (France), Razor Film Produktion (Germany), Stray Dog Production (Norway)
German WCF partner: Razor Film Produktion (Germany)
World sales: LevelK (Denmark)
Funded in the WCF jury meeting in June 2019
Funding amount: 37.000 €