‘It’s going to be bloody’, Rodrigo Duterte assured journalist Maria Ressa in an interview in 2015. A few years later, the Philippine President had tens of thousands executed and turned the country into a dictatorship. Together with journalists from the independent news platform Rappler, Maria Ressa continues to stand up against the regime in the fight for press freedom and justice.
“We Hold the Line” looks at a corrupt and violent system, where threats are a constant companion, from various angles and perspectives. This thriller-like documentary brings the frightening attacks on the press to the forefront. Disturbing, often disgusting brutality of the depicted crimes brilliantly contrast the uncompromising dedication and courage of the Rappler team.
Documentary was screened online, on the closing day of the 13th edition of this human world – International Human Rights Film Festival and the first online edition of this festival.
Live talk with IPI
Following the screening, on Sunday, December 13, in an online conversation Barbara Trionfi, IPI Executive Director, and Javier Luque Martinez, Head of IPI Digital Communications discussed the state of press freedom in the Philippines providing a brief background and an update on the current status of legal actions and law suits against IPI Board member Maria Ressa and her team at Rappler.
To date, Ressa has posted bail 9 times and has been arrested twice. Numerous criminal and administrative cases include tax cases, alleged violations of foreign ownership rules, and libel cases – all designed to harass Ressa and stop Rappler’s work. IPI is calling on Philippine authorities to drop all cases.
Aside from the string of cases, Ressa and Rappler have also been on the receiving end of online harassment campaigns for stories that shed light on controversial policies of the Duterte administration.
She and Rappler, the recipient of 2018 IPI-IMS Free Media Pioneer Award, have displayed great courage in defending press freedom and continuing to deliver quality news in the public interest.
IPI partnered with This Human World (THW) film festival for the sixth consecutive year.