In this documentary thriller Filipino activists fight illegal logging by developers linked to a corrupt government - and pay the highest price.
Palawan Island in the Philippine archipelago is considered one of the world's most beautiful. However, an environmental drama is playing out in this tropical paradise that tempts visitors with its heavenly beaches. Local developers, who want to make the most of the tourist boom, illegally clear large areas of the jungle for more construction. There's a lot of money to be made, so the police turn a blind eye. A group of local activists is trying to stop the ongoing environmental degradation by ambushing lumberjacks in the woods and snatching away their saws. The situation, additionally heated by political conflict, escalates when President Duterte enters the game, sanctioning the use of force against forest defenders. There's tragedy in the air. Karl Malakunas' documentary eco thriller features lots of emotions, surprising twists of action, and sinister villains. But it will be difficult to make this story have a happy ending.
2022 Human Rights Watch New York 2022 Sheffield Doc/Fest