AMO: Netflix Philippine drugs series is “not propaganda”
James R | On 05, Apr 2018
Netflix’s new Philippine series AMO is “not propaganda” for President Rodrigo Duterte, its director has said.
The thriller, which is helmed by Cannes prize winner Brillante Mendoza, shines a light on the country’s drug war. It follows high schooler Joseph, who, despite the Philippine government’s crackdown on narcotics, expands his drug running, while his cop uncle profits from corruption.
Produced by broadcaster TV5, it stars up-and-coming actor Vince Rillon and TV veteran Derek Ramsay. Its director, however, needs no such introduction. Mendoza is the Philippines’ most famous filmmaker, with his films Kinatay and Ma Rosa among three that have screened in competition at Cannes. The latest, Ma Rosa, also highlighted the brutal war Duterte is waging against drugs in the country and the corruption in the nation’s police force.
“Yes, it is necessary for the Philippines – not only for the Philippines but also other countries afflicted with the drug problem,” the 57-year-old Filipino explained.
Nonetheless, he added, he doesn’t want the series “to look like propaganda for the government… it is not”.
“The reason why I did this is so people can see the other side of the coin,” he added, from the perspective of the victims as well as the “victimisers”.
He continued to say that he did not want to comment on Duterte’s drug war, or the preliminary examination announced by the International Criminal Court into what some have described as tantamount to war crimes.
“I think my work, including the series I’m doing, speaks volumes about what I want to say. I’d rather have my work do the talking,” he concluded.
AMO, which is slang for “master”, premieres on Netflix on Monday 9th April.
“AMO is a bold and suspenseful show that has the potential of capturing thrill-seeking audiences worldwide,” Robert Roy, VP of Content Acquisition at Netflix, said in a [“statement last month announcing the acquisition.
“We are excited to finally be able to share AMO with everyone. Brillante has done a beautiful job in bringing paper to life, and the show’s acquisition provides an additional platform to help share the first-ever Filipino series on Netflix to a worldwide audience,” commented TV5 President & CEO, Chot Reyes.
AMO: Season 1 are now available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.