Adolfo Alix Jr.Philippines106 minutes2017ColourTagalog
The most recent film from Adolfo Alix, Jr., one of the Philippines' most adventurous independent filmmakers, looks at the appalling costs of current Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte's extrajudicial war on the country's drug trade, which by conservative estimates has already resulted in 7,000 deaths. A middle-aged married couple makes ends meet by dealing drugs on the side; when they decide to quit the trade, their addicted son goes missing. As the desperate parents scour the city for clues, the victims of the drug war continue to pile up, their bodies often dumped in the streets adorned with placards proclaiming their guilt. Pointedly questioning how we can ever consign other people to the category of the "inhuman," Alix also shows his nuanced awareness of his country's complex situation via the Duterte wrist band that the mother wears — an ironic reminder that strongmen populists often find support from those they are most likely to abuse.