Cleveland International Film Festival } March 29 – April 9, 2017 Presented by Dollar Bank



Year: 2011
Run Time: 90 minutes


A revealing window into the harsh reality of Filipino drug trafficking, CUCHERA is a piercing drama that will shockingly bring you up close and personal with a very real issue prevalent in the Philippines today. Isabel is a former prostitute, turned veteran drug smuggler, who will do what she must to survive the dirty, fierce, and unfair world that is hers—even if that means recruiting naïve teenagers as drug mules and turning them into terrified vessels who are coerced into carrying illegal drugs from the impoverished slums of the Philippines across the sea to China. As we are taken deeper into Isabel's dangerous world of deceit, rape, and murder, it becomes apparent that beneath her intimidating, hardened surface there is a woman who feels for these kids, who has sat where they now sit. Ultimately, we see that she is a victim as well, unable to escape the cycle of crime that defines her existence. A stripped-down, gritty narrative based on the story of an actual Filipina drug mule who was caught with over 60 drug capsules lodged in her organs, CUCHERA accurately depicts the desperation of those living in Southeast Asia's drug smuggling capitol. (In Tagalog with subtitles) – M.M.


CIFF36 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Pacific Pearls

Joseph Israel Laban

Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou

Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano

Mathieu Vadepied

Dorian Rigal-Ansous

Principal Cast
François Cluzet, Omar Sy

Director Bio
Joseph Israel Labanon is an award-winning Filipino journalist and independent filmmaker whose first film, the short "Antipo," was an Official Selection at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Select Filmography
CUCHERA (2011)

Print Source
Questions? >


Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about entering the film festival.

Become A CIFF Member >

Become A CIFF Member

We have seven different levels of membership to choose from, so find the one that best fits your film appetite!

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • foursquare