“Kapag sinabi nilang may aswang, ang ibig sabihin nila: matakot ka.” (Whenever they say there is an aswang around, what they really mean is: be afraid.)
This Halloween, Daang Dokyu presents a different kind of scare. It will stream a documentary that tells not of shape-shifting evil spirits but of creatures of a different kind that roam at night.
Alyx Arumpac’s award-winning drug war documentary Aswang will again be free to stream from October 31 to November 2 at Daang Dokyu’s virtual cinema (DaangDokyu.com/watchnow) as its #HuwagMatakot Halloween rerun.
The documentary, originally set to premiere during the Daang Dokyu Festival last March before being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was also presented last October 9 to 15 as part of the film festival’s Nation section.
Aswang is a shapeshifting monster from Philippine folklore. It is said to take on human form during the day, but comes out at night to hunt its prey, oftentimes resulting in grisly deaths. The aswang in the films may not have the same mythical powers but the horrors it leave are the same.
The film, Aswang, chronicles the first two years of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs set in motion to execute suspected drug users, pushers, and small-time criminals.
The film follows the lives of people who are linked together by violence in this campaign. They are a photojournalist and missionary brother who comforts bereaved families and makes a stand against lawlessness; a night shift manager of a funeral home; and a street kid with parents and friends in the cemetery.
Aswang is the grand prize winner at the 12th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, or DMZ Docs, held from Sept. 17 to 24 in South Korea. It also won the International Critic’s Prize (Fipresci) at the 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Beyond the Screen Competition at the DocAviv Film Festival, and the Amnesty International Award at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival.
More about Aswang and Daang Dokyu at daangdokyu.ph.
Daang Dokyu is a 40-day long festival of Philippine documentaries, which will culminate with its Future section, which will be until November 5, 2020.
It is initiated by the Filipino Documentary Society (FilDocs), founded by documentary filmmakers Jewel Maranan, Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Baby Ruth Villarama, and Coreen Jimenez.
It is made possible with the support and partnership with the Office of House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, UP Film Institute, and Probe Media Foundation.
Others that support Daang Dokyu are Purin Pictures, Japan Foundation, GMA Network, ABS-CBN, Rappler, iWantTFC, Probe Productions, Phil. Center for Investigative Journalism, Sundance, TokyoDocs, British Film Institute, British Council, SOAS University of London, Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Adobo Magazine, Inquirer.net, Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, QCinema International Film Festival, Grupo Sorbetero, JCI Quezon City Capitol, Central Digital Lab, Butch Jimenez, Chevening Alumni Philippines, Unreel, Film Geek Guy, Geoffreview, SineHub, EngageMedia, Greenpeace, Culion Foundation, Pelikulove, Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, PHCan, Miriam College, Ako Bakwit, Cinema Rehiyon, and RESBAK.