Does anyone out there watch PBS? I must confess, I rarely turn on the T.V to watch anything these days. The television has become more a noise maker in my apartment rather than something I turn to for entertainment. The other day I was visiting my cousin, a Mother of two, where Sesame Street and other PBS kids shows are normally streaming across the television screen. She asked me; Do you watch PBS? I had to think about the question, “do you mean TBS?” was a thought I had. I said, NO, I can’t say that I do. She said “have you heard of P.O.V?”, I actually have. Then she asked, have you heard of FREE PACO? I said, NO, I have not. She proceeded to turn on her OnDemand PBS and turned on the film Give Up Tomorrow. My jaw hit the floor within the first 5 minutes of the film, and I couldn’t turn away. I couldn’t help but wonder, how did I not hear about this before? It was almost as if time stood still and the only thing I could see or hear was this film.
As a tropical storm beats down on an island in the Philippines, two sisters leave work and never make it home. Paco Larrañaga, a 19-year-old student, is sentenced to death for their rape and murder, despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence. Give Up Tomorrow exposes shocking corruption within the judicial system of the Philippines in one of the most sensational trials in the country’s history. Two grieving mothers, entangled in a case that ends a nation’s use of capital punishment but fails to free an innocent man; dedicate more than a decade to executing or saving him.
Give Up Tomorrow aired on October 4th on PBS, if you have 90 minutes you can still catch the film online until November 4th. I have not been able to get the image of Paco out of my brain, his face at 19 years old and his face after spending more than half his life in prison for a crime he did not commit. This Worthy Wednesday is a Worthy recommendation, watch this film. And spread the word.