Give Up Tomorrow
(Give Up Tomorrow) Director: Michael Collins, GB - USA, 2011, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 95 min
How outrageous is the mere thought of someone being sentenced to death for a crime that, in all probability, he didn’t commit? Worse yet, in a scenario where the lack of victims’ bodies, proof or witness testimonies makes it unclear whether a crime has even taken place? This is the story of Paco Larrañaga who, along with six other young men, received the death penalty in a highly publicised trial for the alleged kidnapping, rape and murder of two sisters on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. It brilliantly demonstrates how the power of political and social pressure was used to ensure the quick arrest and sentencing of the perpetrators in the wake of the 1997 crime that shocked the country. Captured are the absurd, even grotesque, ways a judicial system can be corrupted, especially when fuelled by a media campaign and mass hysteria. This documentary follows court processes over 13 years, along with subsequent attempts to free the innocent. Above all, it demonstrates the indomitable spirit of Larrañaga and his family in their fight to win justice.