On The President's Orders


Scotiabank Theatre 3 Sat, Apr 27, 2019 8:30 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 4 Mon, Apr 29, 2019 3:15 PM
Hart House Theatre Sun, May 5, 2019 3:00 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:UK
Premiere Status:North American Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:World Showcase
Film Subjects:Crime & Justice
Mental Health & Addiction
Politics & Political Intrigue
Southeast Asia
By Program - Sort:Closed Captions & Full Subtitles
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):James Jones
Olivier Sarbil
Producer(s):Raney Aronson-Rath
Dan Edge
James Jones
Executive Producer(s):Mandy Chang
Hayley Reynolds
Raney Aronson-Rath
Mark Edwards
Dan Edge
Sandra Whipham
Rebecca Litchenfeld
Editor(s):Michael Harte
Writer(s):James Jones
Dan Edge
Cinematography:Olivier Sarbil
Composer:Uno Helmersson


In May 2016, Rodrigo Duterte won a landslide presidential victory in the Philippines, promising to eradicate the country's drug problem by whatever means necessary. Police shot more than 3,000 suspects in the first year alone in a bloody state-sponsored war against dealers and users alike. Acclaimed investigative filmmakers James Jones and Olivier Sarbil seek out the police Duterte emboldened and the people they targeted. When a new chief, Jemar Modequillo, is brought in to clean up the infamous Caloocan district of Manila, cameras embed with the officers of his Specials Operations Unit. His aim is to curb the bloodshed by boosting actual arrests of suspected traffickers and addicts. But as the cops and vigilantes alike scour the slums, civil rights give way to impunity and the city's poor pay the highest price. Combining the pacing of a thriller with masterful journalism, this investigative doc reveals the human cost of a populist agenda. Myrocia Watamaniuk

World Showcase program sponsored by Delta Air Lines.

Additional Information

  • NOW - 4 Stars, "Powerful."
  • One Movie Our Views - 3.5 Stars, "A glimpse into a real life dystopia."
  • POV - "It’s a harrowing, humbling film that through its visually stunning look and intense storytelling, demonstrates with great skill the heart of darkness of this part of the world."