Philippine movie queen, Vilma Santos, takes the role of a nun who becomes involved in an on-going labor strike. She starts out unpoliticized, but later learns about the plight of the simple working man and inevitably, the government's neglect of the poor masses. Her ex-boyfriend turned reporter gets tortured by masked goons and the union leader gets murdered. In the end, instead of being afraid, she strengthens her resolve to see the fight to the end. It's hard to imagine a nun with heavy make-up as Santos, but her excellent acting more than makes up for it. The men who did the torture and killing (termed "salvaged" in the Philippines, a local slang) covered their faces, but in reality, most "salvagers" don't go into that trouble. De Leon is a careful filmmaker; this film exhibits his penchant for fine cinematography and strong yet flawed characters. Despite some shortcomings in the little details, the film stands out as one of his best.
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