Drug War Documentary Aswang to Premiere at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam


Documenting the gritty details of the ongoing war on drugs in the Philippines, Aswang is set to premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which will run from November 20 to December 1, 2019. IDFA is one of the leading documentary festivals in the world.

Aswang was directed by Alyx Ayn Arumpac and produced by Armi Rae Cacanindin through ACC Cinematografica Films. The 70-minute documentary was funded by the Southeast Asian film fund, Purin Pictures, which supports independent cinema in the region.

Photo by IMDB.

Named after a monster in Philippine folklore, Aswang follows the growing violence in the underbelly of the city where many have fallen victim to the notorious drug war. 

Here’s the description of the documentary, according to IDFA:

"Aswang follows a group of people whose lives have been caught up in these events: a missionary brother and photojournalist who comforts bereaved families and tries to make a stand against lawlessness, a funeral home manager, and a street kid with parents in prison and friends in the cemetery."


Watch the trailer below.

The poignant voiceover makes the connection between the folk monster and the drug war. Referencing the height of the drug war when news reports would count the number of extrajudicial killings per night, it points out how the shapeshifting nightmare has come to life: “Night after night, the darkness unravels bodies facedown on the streets."

It is yet to be announced whether Aswang will be shown in the Philippines.

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Anri Ichimura
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