On the Job 2: The Missing 8

On the Job: The Missing 8

The Philippines, 2021, 209’, Filipino
Directed by: Erik Matti
Screenplay: Yamamoto Michiko 
Photography (color): Neil Derrick Bion
Editing: Jay Halili
Production Design: Roma Regala, Michael Español
Music: Erwin Romulo, Malek Lopez, Arvin Nogueras
Sound Designer: Corinne de San Jose
Executive Producers: Ronald “Dondon” Monteverde, Erik Matti, Joe Caliro, Quark Henares,
Clement Schwebig, Magdalene Ew
Cast: John Arcilla (Sisoy), Dennis Trillo (Roman), Dante Rivero (Pedring), Lotlot De Leon
(Weng), Christopher De Leon (Arnel), Leo Martinez (General Pacheco), Andrea Brillantes
(Diane), Isabelle De Leon (Joni), Wendell Ramos (Bernie), Agot Isidro (Senator Alice Samson),
Joey Marquez (Joaquin), Eric Fructoso (Nato), Vandolph Quizon (Popoy), Sol Cruz (Obet), Lao
Rodriguez (Kiko)

Date of First Release in Territory: TBA


Somewhere in the tangles of On the Job: The Missing 8, a politician’s henchman taunts Sisoy (John Arcilla), a paid hack turned truth crusader, as he digs deeper into the truth about the death of his friend and their journalist colleagues: “You won’t be protected by that pen.” In the face of extrajudicial killings and the prevailing culture of impunity, it’s a line that stings deeply in a country where the media is kept undermined by fake news and disinformation – and where journalists often get murdered because of their profession. The chilling effect is also because, halfway through On the Job: The Missing 8, it’s easy to think that things will go south for our beloved characters, as disgusting as they may be in the first few minutes of the film. While the first On the Job reveled in the pyrotechnics of the genre, the sequel is soaked in nihilism, which gets even more shocking as you realize that some of these things are inspired by events that happened in real life. The span and scope of the film can be overwhelming – the film clocks in at a hefty three hours and 29 minutes. Set in the fictional town of La Paz, the film follows several storylines: we have Sisoy and his co workers at a newspaper (including Lotlot De Leon as Weng) who are out for justice for their colleagues who mysteriously went missing, including Sisoy’s close friend Arnel (Christopher De Leon); there’s Roman (Dennis Trillo) a prisoner who, like Joel Torre’s Tatang in the first movie, is hired by politicians like General Rene Pacheco (Leo Martinez) and La Paz Mayor Pedring Eusebio (Dante Rivero) to take out the snags in their web of lies and deceit. In between are political families feuding, laying waste to small towns that they treat as their own
playgrounds.
The film may just be Matti’s best yet. On the Job: The Missing 8 is ambitious as Oliver Stone’s JFK in terms of treating its composite of actual events into cinematic material. The film often feels larger than life, which is a shame that it was never shown in Philippine theaters as the better
part of 2021 still saw cinemas closed. No matter, its incarnation as a six-episode HBO limited series, which combines the Director’s Cut of the first film with the second film, was able to fulfill Matti’s intentions of making the two films as a continuous narrative. But the theatrical cut is blistering in itself, skilfully weaving the sordid moments of Philippine history, such as the Ampatuan Massacre in 2009 where 58 were killed – 34 of whom were journalists – and buried in a mass grave using a backhoe.
Watching On the Job: The Missing 8 is to watch a filmmaker at his finest.

 

Erik Matti
 
Erik Matti (born in 1970, in Bacolod City, Negros) started his career in films and TV commercials, like many Filipino directors. A versatile filmmaker, he has taken on many hats as a writer, producer, and actor. His reputation for being a master of genre is known not only in the Philippines, but also in film festivals, including Udine’s FEFF (Prosti, Gagamboy, Pa-siyam, Exodus, The Arrival, Tiktik: the Aswang Chronicles). On the Job: The Missing 8 premiered at the 78th Venice Film Festival, where it won Best Actor for John Arcilla. Matti is working on a biopic of the revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio and a Filipino remake of the French TV series Call My Agent!
 
SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY
 
2002 – Prosti
2004 – Gagamboy
2005 – Exodus: Tales from the Enchanted Kingdom
2010 – The Arrival
2012 – Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles
2015 – Honor Thy Father
2016 – Seklusyon
2021 – Rabid
2021 – On the Job: The Missing 8
2021 – A Girl and a Guy

Don Jaucian
Film director: Erik MATTI
Year: 2021
Running time: 209'
Country: The Philippines
22/04 - 3:00 PM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
22-04-2022 15:00 22-04-2022 18:29Europe/Rome On the Job 2: The Missing 8 Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine cec@cecudine.org

Photogallery