An ambitious journalist challenges the leader of a violent vigilante group to a high-stakes drinking game that may score her a scoop or a bullet to the head.
This film is based on stories my grandfather told me about the Davao Death Squad — a fearsome collection of vigilantes employed to wipe out crime under then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s watch. When we shot the film in early 2016, we thought we’d distance ourselves by fictionalizing the vigilantes in Manila. It was almost sci-fi, 15 minutes into the future, but by the time we screened a rough cut that May, Duterte was elected by a landslide, triggering a wave of violence whose body count is in the thousands. It’s easy to make a movie about my own politics and moralizing about right and wrong. But I wanted to ask questions: how did we get here? Why is this happening? How does it feel to the other side? I consider this movie to be an acid trip and a Rorscharch test. Who do you side with, if anyone at all?
– Dean Colin Marcial