A Thousand Cuts
The 2020 Filipino-American documentary A Thousand Cuts (which made its Frontline debut in January 2021), follows the increasingly contentious and dangerous conflicts between the press and Philippine government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte. The 90-minute documentary does a tremendous job of showing just how difficult life has become for journalists in the years since Duterte rose to power by focusing on the story Maria Ressa, the founder of online news site Rappler, as she became a target of the president’s government.
The documentary follows Maria Ressa, as well as other Rappler journalists, as she travels the world speaking about the importance of free press and basic human rights while also being subjected to government abuse (false accusations, trumped up charges, threats from government-sponsored social media groups), which paints a terrifying picture of life in a authoritarian regime. Through it all, however, Ressa remains optimistic and unwilling to back down or take the easy way out, despite getting multiple opportunities to do so.
Watch it here.