We hold the line, Film | ©dreamer joint venture GmbH
©dreamer joint venture GmbH

We Hold the Line

  • STK (Working title)
All titles (5)
Documentary Feature | 2019-2020 | SWR [de] | Economy, Politics, Society | Germany

Brief synopsis

In many countries of the world democracies are eroding from within. In some countries they are dying. It is a death by a thousand cuts. In the Philippines, journalist Maria Ressa and her team from the news platform Rappler fight against a violent president who executes tens of thousands of people with death squads and turns the country into a dictatorship. Maria is the last woman standing in an unjust war and is being recognized for holding the line against the downfall of democracy by TIME magazine as person of the year in 2018.

Facts, first class journalism and kindness are her defense. She becomes a target of a legal smear campaign by the government and is being imprisoned twice. Duterte weaponizes social media and the law to control the country. Facebook trolls hunt her online and in real life to silence her. The documentary gives a rare behind the scenes access to Maria and her staff and accompanies them over a year during threats to their work and life. Victims of the war, critical politicians in hiding and members of the death squads give insight into the real “war on drugs“ of president Duterte.



Director of photography
Lutz Reitemeier

FACT:AWARD, International Film Festival CPH:DOX Copenhagen
FACT:AWARD, International Film Festival CPH:DOX Copenhagen
DIT digital imaging technicianUgur Yildirim
Camera Consultant - Preshoot
Camera Consultant - Preshoot
DirectorMarc Wiese
EditorMarc Schubert
ComposerHannes Bieber
ProducerOliver Stoltz
ScreenwriterMarc Wiese
Production sound mixerMark G. Laccay
Sound designerKarl Matissek
Sound designerJonas Schüler
Commissioning editorBernd Seidl
Commissioning editorGudrun Hanke-el Ghomri

Distributing companies

Magnetfilm GmbH [de]
World Sales
World Sales


Sound (Postproduction)Studio Mitte


Award winnerYearAwardCategory 
Marc Wiese2020CPH:DOX (Copenhagen Int'l Doc. Festival) [dk]Fact:AwardWinner
Marc Wiese2021Grimme Preis [de]Information & KulturNominated


2020GermanyFilmkunstfest Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Online)as "We hold the line"


TypeCountryStationDate / TimeComment
First showingGermanyarteTuesday, 19/05/2020, 9.45 PMas Die Unbeugsamen / Permis de tuer aux Philippines


PremiereWednesday, 18/03/2020CPH Dox (online)