Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS Radio is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in temporary signal outages.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

FRONTLINE: A Thousand Cuts

Stream now or tune in Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Rappler CEO/Journalist Maria Ressa

Credit: Courtesy of FRONTLINE (PBS)

Above: Rappler CEO/Journalist Maria Ressa

FRONTLINE presents the U.S. broadcast premiere of “A Thousand Cuts,” the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary about the crackdown on the press in the Philippines that The New York Times calls “absorbing” (Critic’s Pick), The Washington Post says is “utterly urgent” and The Hollywood Reporter describes as “essential.”

This 98-minute feature film from award-winning filmmaker Ramona Diaz examines President Rodrigo Duterte’s escalating attacks on the media through the story of his prime target: Journalist Maria Ressa, a TIME Magazine Person of the Year and CEO and co-founder of the independent news site, Rappler.

Ressa and her colleagues have been at the forefront of chronicling Duterte’s brutal war on drugs and she has endured harassment, arrests, and a cyber libel conviction that could send her to prison.

FRONTLINE: A Thousand Cuts (Full Episode)

With press freedom under threat in the Philippines, "A Thousand Cuts" goes inside the escalating war between the press and the government. The documentary follows Maria Ressa, a renowned journalist who has become a top target of President Duterte's crackdown on the news media. Aired: 01/08/21

“What we’re seeing is a death by a thousand cuts of our democracy…little cuts to the body of Philippines democracy,” Ressa says in the documentary of Duterte’s efforts to quash independent reporting. “When you have enough of these cuts, you are so weakened, that you will die.” But she vows to press on: “We will not duck, we will not hide. We will hold the line.”

FRONTLINE’s broadcast comes on the heels of the documentary’s robust festival run — including Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival and AFI DOCS — and a nation-wide virtual theatrical release last summer.

“At its core, ‘A Thousand Cuts’ is about the epic battle for facts. ‘What do you do when the president lies,’ Maria poses in the film. With its unparalleled reputation for cutting through the noise and getting to what is true, I couldn’t have hoped for a better partner than FRONTLINE to bring this story to a national audience,” says Diaz.

Maria Ressa and Ramona Diaz on AMANPOUR AND COMPANY

Christiane Amanpour hosts a roundtable conversation about the new documentary “A Thousand Cuts” with director Ramona Diaz and film subject Maria Ressa, a prime target in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on the press. Aired: 01/08/21

The film is now available to stream in the PBS Video App and on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel.

For more on Duterte’s drug war:

Watch FRONTLINE "On the President’s Orders." And for more from Ressa, read FRONTLINE’s interview with her for "The Facebook Dilemma," in which she discusses her reporting on how Duterte weaponized the platform to target his critics and spread disinformation.

Join The Conversation:

FRONTLINE is on Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, and you can follow @frontlinepbs on Twitter. #frontlinePBS

"A Thousand Cuts" film is on Facebook and Instagram.


Concordia Studio, Motto Pictures, and CineDiaz production developed in association with Topic for WGBH/FRONTLINE. The executive producers are Laurene Powell Jobs, Davis Guggenheim, Jonathan Silberberg, Nicole Stott, Raney Aronson-Rath, David J. Cornfield, Linda A. Cornfield. Edited by Leah Marino. The producers are Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn. Produced by Ramona S. Diaz and Leah Marino. Written and directed by Ramona S. Diaz.

“We are so pleased to be able to share Maria’s story and Ramona’s incredible filmmaking with our PBS audiences this month, and to offer context through a powerful conversation with Christiane,” says FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Every weekday afternoon, we’ll send you our top TV picks so you can hear about upcoming programs and never miss your favorite shows.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.