Give Up Tomorrow

Michael Collins, USA, 2011, color, HDcam, 95'

A criminal who didn't commit the crime, a murder mystery without a body. If it weren't a true story, you'd never believe it. In the late summer of 1997, the Chiong sisters went missing in Cebu, the Philippines. Shortly thereafter, a body of a girl was found in a valley - she had been raped and then murdered. People assumed it was one of the Chiong sisters, and the police arrested seven local boys. One of them was Paco Larrañaga, from a well-to-do family, son of a Filipino mother and a Spanish father. Paco was targeted because he had a reputation for trouble, but at the time of the murder, he was hundreds of miles away in Manila, in the company of several fellow students. An open and shut case, one would think. But then Paco and his family were confronted with the corrupt Philippine legal authorities, who weren't seeking justice, but rather judgement. In a rapid, captivating series of interviews, newspaper clippings, and archive footage, the filmmaker (who was personally involved in the case) describes how the seven random boys fell victim to a judicial error. He also shows how the entire legal system is like a Kafkaesque story, featuring false witnesses, cover-ups and human rights violations.

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