THE KILL LIST
—Winner, Overseas Press Club of America Award for best international reporting in the broadcast media, 2018
In the Philippines, thousands have died in the government-induced slaughter. It is in the closeness and intimacy of the camera — as it traces the ligature marks along the wrists of a bullet-riddled corpse, capturing the ebbing tears of a family as they gradually accept that the body they hold will never wake up, and filming the nervous laughter of a drug addict as he asks a police officer not to be killed — that the complex issues of crime and state play out.
Filmed one year after Duterte assumed the presidency, we gained unprecedented access to the lives of survivors and policemen, and considered why Duterte’s bloody rampage continues: from the normalization of government-inspired brutality, the narrative of righteousness that undergird the killings, to the validating effect of President Donald Trump’s unequivocal support of the Philippine president.
The documentary shows how citizens of a country are willing to compromise their morals for what they’ve been convinced is the greater good and sheds light on an ongoing human rights crisis, serving as a cautionary warning on a dark side of the human condition.