Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Give Up Tomorrow

About a year ago, Mimi told me she was going to a movie premiere in Spain. My thought bubble was, "Wow, so sosyal! In Spain pa!" Little did I know it was a documentary about her brother Paco, who was then incarcerated in San Sebastian. I eventually got to saw that film today, "Give Up Tomorrow", an account of how justice has eluded the victims of this tragic event. The victims being the Chiong sisters and the convicted men - 6 of 7 of which were really just boys at the time.

What is troubling about this story is the fact that rub outs, frame-ups, mistrials and unreasonable delays are a reality in our justice system. That media can demonize a person before the facts are even laid out. That when mob mentality ensues, all hell can break loose. Give Up Tomorrow focuses on Paco, but his story also represents the stories of the many men and women who are wrongfully serving time in prison, or worse, have unfairly served their death sentence.

Yes Mimi is my friend. And I know at least 2 people who are siblings to 2 of the witnesses who testified that Paco was in QC when the crime happened. But even if Mimi wasn't my friend, this is a movie I would still see. It is a story of what has happened time and again and can still happen in the real world, when fate is not kind, and just won't seem to give you a break. It can happen to any one really. There are many lessons to be learned from this film.

It is easy to take the side of the victims, because they suffered a terrible loss. But it also a tragedy if innocents suffer in jail. I have seen the film and I will not spoil the story for you. There was a Q&A at the end of the screening I attended, and once you've seen the film, it really does leave you with so many questions.

This is a documentary that must be seen, if only to understand the dynamics of our legal system. Of how politics, social connections, mass hysteria and bad timing can screw you. 

Read the New York Times review, HERE.

Watch Give Up Tomorrow at the following cinemas:

Oct 3-9:  Robinson's Galleria & Ermita
               SM North Edsa, Megamall, Manila, MOA, Southmall, and Cebu
Oct 5-7:  Greenbelt 3, Trinoma and Alabang Town Center

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