The 38-minute “film essay” by AsiaVisions (formerly Creative Audio-Visual Specialists or CAVS) spotlights the continuation of human rights abuses even after the Marcos administration had supposedly lifted Martial Law in 1981, taking the stories of clerical actors, activists, social workers, and truth-tellers to form a picture of Marcos’ cruel grip on power. Extensive militarization was Marcos’ weapon of choice, along with the imperialistic force of the United States, as seen in the presence of American bases.

“I would have no hesitation in saying that the situation has gone from bad to worse,” says Sr. Mariani Dimaranan, chair of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, in the film. “During Martial Law years, we were focusing our attention only on three phenomena, namely: arrest and detention, salvaging, and disappearances. After the so-called lifting of Martial Law, all these phenomena stayed on or kept going, plus the fact that we had still to attend to massacres, salvaging, hamletting, and other things going on in the provinces, specifically.”

Aside from interviews, the film features archival and news footage alongside mass demonstrations of the time, including the funeral cortege of slain senator Ninoy Aquino. It documents the mounting resistance and foreshadows the ouster of Marcos via EDSA three years later. A speech by former senator Lorenzo Tañada closes the film: “Babawiin na ang mga karapatang kinuha, ang dangal na dinusta ng mga palalo at berdugo ng lahi (we will retrieve our rights that were taken away, our honor that was trampled upon by the wicked butchers of our people).”