10 October 2012

Give Up Tomorrow: Paco Larrañaga's POV

If the other countries has a list of famous murders in history, in the Philippines, we have a controversial case that awakens the nation's memories of the cruel murder of the of two women filed against an innocent man who, until now, remains behind bars. A documentary film shows the other side of the story, the innocent man's POV.

Give Up Tomorrow
Here's the gist: like any suspense story, it started on a rainy night in Cebu. Two sisters leave work and never make it home. Paco Larrañaga, a 19-year-old culinary student, 300 miles away in Manila on the same night, is sentenced to death for their rape and murder, despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence.

Dubbed as the nation's "Trial of the Century", the film exposes shocking corruption within the judicial system and long-simmering class and racial antipathies among the population. Two grieving mothers--one mother becomes a media darling, the other waits for justice--entangled in a case that ends the country's use of capital punishment. To add more drama, a judge commits suicide and the young man remains behind bars but fails to free an innocent man, dedicate more than a decade to executing or saving him.

This documentary is directed by Michael Collins and produced by Marty Syjuco (who is a distant relative by marriage to the Larrañagas) spent more than seven years working on the first film. "Give Up Tomorrow" premiered last October 4, 2012 and has bagged the Audience Award winner, 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. It is also an Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. A co-production of ITVS, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), and POV's Diverse Voices Project with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in association with the BBC.

Sources: http://www.pbs.org and http://laapff.festpro.com

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