Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s staggering debut puts the soul of the Philippine justice system on
trial. Desperate mother Joy is stuck in a cycle of violence inflicted by her petty-criminal husband,
Dante. One night, when the abuse extends to her 6-year-old daughter, Joy flees to the police –
only to encounter the tortuous indifference of a broken legal system.
Receiving a Special Mention in the Orizzonti section of the Venice International Film Festival,
the story is born of the director’s encounter with domestic abuse in his community. Through a
raw verité style and action-to-action editing, Gutierrez confronts the audience in close range to
the unhinged assault on mother and child subjected to clenched fists and an apathetic legal
bureaucracy that disenfranchises its victims.
The film shows the never ending in the ghettos of an anesthetized society, the film asks: What
happens when justice does not work for those who need it most?