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Give Up Tomorrow

by Marty Syjuco, Michael Collins

In a murder case that ends a country’s use of capital punishment but fails to free an innocent man, GIVE UP TOMORROW exposes a Kafkaesque world of corruption and injustice.

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As a tropical storm beats down on an island in the Philippines, two sisters leave work and never make it home…  

Simultaneously a murder-mystery and an exposé of endemic corruption today, GIVE UP TOMORROW looks intimately at the case of Paco Larrañaga, a student accused of killing two sisters on the provincial island of Cebu. 

In a way that is both specific to the country and disquietingly universal, the film exposes a Kafkaesque extravaganza populated by flamboyantly crooked public officials, cops on the take, and a frenzied legal and media circus.  

GIVE UP TOMORROW is also an intimate family drama focused on the near mythic struggle of two angry, sorrowful mothers who have dedicated more than a decade to executing or saving one young man.  Their irreconcilable versions of justice play out in a controversial case, dubbed "The Trial of the Century", that ends a country's use of capital punishment, yet fails to free an innocent man.


GIVE UP TOMORROW is an Emmy® nominated documentary for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, and a finalist for the Puma Impact Award.

quoteA riveting cautionary tale of a flawed justice system… Stands out among human rights documentaries for its exceptional pacing and attention to detail.
Joan Pedzich
Library Journal
full review

quoteJaw-dropping… Hard to turn away from.
Nicolas Rapold
The New York Times
full review

quoteA disturbing documentary… As we watch this story unfold, we should turn the lens on our own country and our deeply troubled prison system.
Inimai Chettiar & Rebecca McCray
ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union
full review

quoteOne of the most fascinating and discussed documentaries of our time.
E. Nina Rothe
The Huffington Post
full review


  • Emmy® Award 2013 Nominated, Outstanding Investigative Journalism
  • PBS national broadcast, POV 2012
  • Puma Impact Award 2013, Finalist
  • Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival
  • Audience Award, Amnesty International’s Movies that Matter Festival
  • Human Rights Award, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Festival
  • Activism Award, Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival
  • Audience Award, Sheffield Doc/Fest
  • Advocacy Award, Asian Film Festival of Dallas
  • Best Documentary, Anchorage International Film Festival
  • Audience Award, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Festival
  • Special Jury Prize for Best New Director, Tribeca Film Festival
  • Editing Award, Salem Film Fest
  • Human Rights Award, Galway Film Fleadh
  • Best Documentary, National Film Society
  • Special Jury Award, DMZ Korean Film Festival
  • Audience Award, San Sebastian Film Festival
  • Human Rights Award, Docs Barcelona
  • Audience Award, Antenna Sydney Documentary Festival
  • Audience Favorite #2, Hot Docs Festival
  • Grierson British Awards, Nominated for Best Newcomer
  • Cinema Eye Honors, Nominated for the Audience Choice Prize
  • Amnesty International’s Media Awards, Nominated for Documentary

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Give Up Tomorrow

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Appropriate for: High School College/University

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