The tiny settlement huddles in a dusty clearing, circled
              by slash-and-burn fields of corn, tobacco and camote.
              Around the perimeter, a few Manobo GUARDS sit armed with
              automatic weapons.

              Small shelters on stilts and covered with thatch appear
              skeletal in the near darkness. In the distance, dark trees
              rise naked and unbranching, covering the mountains in a
              dense rain forest.

              TITLE OVER:            "Year Unknown"
                                       "Mindanao, The Philippines"

              INT. DAFAL'S SHELTER

              Early light pierces the woven walls. Traces patterns in
              the smoke from a fire in a box of earth near the center.

              DAFAL, a toothless, wizened man in his 50's, rolls off his
              sleeping mat. Shambles over to stoke the embers.

              Curiously, in this primitive setting, he wears bright red
              jockey shorts. Straps a scratched Rolex on his wrist.
              Laces up a pair of battered Nikes.

              Then he slaps a natty little grey fedora on his head.
              Makes him look a bit like a rainforest Sammy Davis, Jr.

              He sharpens a long-bladed bolo knife against a flint
              stone. Uncovers a basket and hauls out a dead monkey.
              Strips back the monkey's skull. Plucks out the brain.

              A SIZZLE as flesh meets flame.


              The sun breaks over the mountains. Dissects the village
              into long, angular shadows.

              VILLAGERS climb down notched logs from their shelters and
              move along swaying, CREAKING walkways made of lashed

              The men dress in jeans and t-shirts. The women in skirts
              and colorful blouses. A few remnants of their tribal
              heritage linger: beads and bracelets, leaf skirts and an
              occasional loincloth. Nobody goes barefoot: all wear
              athletic shoes or sandals.

              Morning rush hour in Manobo Blit! Dogs BARK. A baby CRIES.
              The day has begun.

              EXT. DAFAL'S SHELTER

              Dafal climbs down. He's dressed in faded levis and a grey
              military sweatshirt. He carries a woven bag, some bolo
              knives, bows and poison arrows.

              He strikes out for the jungle.

              EXT. RAIN FOREST

              On razorback ridges high above Dafal, the tribal
              communications network RINGS with the lusty voices of
              brass gongs --

              -- passing the word from village to village.


                         Dafal is the one who walks the
                         forest like the wind!

              GONG! GONG!

                         He is going to the land where the
                         eye sees too far!

              GONG! GONG! GONG!

                         He will disturb the spirits that
                         dwell there!

              ANOTHER AREA

              Dafal is swallowed in the lush, wet tangle of pristine
              climax rain forest: hanging vines, bamboo, palms and tree

              And always towering above -- the dense, suffocating canopy
              of mahogany, coconut and oak.

              CLIFF SIDE

              Dafal advances up a ridge. Stops at the bottom of a rocky

              He cuts saplings with his bolo. Sharpens bamboo spears.
              Sets a balatik trap:

              lashes a spear to a sapling; bows it back; adds a trip
              cord made of vine.

              He touches the vine. The spear SLASHES along the jungle
              floor like a deadly low-flying missile.

              He resets the trap. Covers it with leaves. Continues on
              his way.

              DEEP JUNGLE

              At midday, the sun penetrates the canopy in long,
              fingerlike shafts like laser lights at a rock concert.

              Dafal glides along the forest floor, lithe and catlike. He
              knows this place like the back of his hand.

              He stops cold. Kneels. Stares at something on the ground.
              Scattered among the impressions from his Nikes are human

              He springs up. Trails the prints into the forest.

              ANOTHER AREA

              Dafal squints into shadows. Strains to capture any unusual
              sound in the HUMMING chorus of insects and birds.

              A branch CRACKLES. A coffee-colored, muscular limb FLASHES
              through a green haze.

              Dafal creeps closer.

              Two YOUNG MEN in their late teens and a BOY, perhaps
              eight, dig with sticks in a hillside. They are naked.
              Except for the sticks, they appear to be unarmed. They
              uncover a large root and HACK at it excitedly.

              The Boy turns. Gazes through the brush. His mouth opens in
              a huge round "oh". He has spotted Dafal.

              The Boy SQUEALS. The strangers leap to their feet. Stand
              frozen, unblinking. Like frightened animals caught in

                                       DAFAL /SUBTITLE
                         I am Dafal. I am good.

              The strangers stare with blank faces across time and
              space. Dafal tries every language he knows: Ubu, Tagalog,
              T'boli --

                                       DAFAL /SUBTITLE
                         Dafal. I will not hurt you. From
                         the village. Over the mountain.

              Even English:

                         Friend. Okay. Okay.

              He moves in. Cautiously. Offers a long, gleaming bolo
              knife. They pass it among themselves. CHATTER in
              amazement. Dafal listens carefully to this strange

              The Boy reaches for a leaf pouch on the ground. Takes out
              a rattan haft, cradling a mottled shard of stone about the
              size of a hen's egg.

                                       DAFAL /SUBTITLE
                         Who are you?

                                       BOY /SUBTITLE
                         We are Tasaday.

              The Boy hands the stone to Dafal.

              INT. BUREAU OFFICE, MANILA - DAY (mid 80's)

              A chic, stylized logo on the wall identifies the offices
              of Television News Network (TNN). Crammed with desks,
              CLATTERING teletype machines, cameras, video equipment.
              Stacks of newspapers and magazines.

              A glassed-in editing room JABBERS with 'chipmunk' voices
              as an EDITOR cuts tape.

              TITLE OVER:        "Several Years Later"

              LESLIE SHAW is on the phone. She's mid-30's, spirited and
              athletic. Speaks in a smoky cognac voice that the
              microphone loves. She's dressed in green fatigues. Puffs
              on a cigarette.

                                (on phone)

              She glances at monitors in the editing bay. Displays of
              camera-shakey coverage of student anti-government protests
              in Manila.
                                (to Editor)
                         I need that piece on the satellite
                         in an hour.

              The Editor nods.

                                (into phone)
                         I'm still holding! I have been
                         holding. I will hold. Till hell
                         freezes over!

              JOCK McFARLAND pops his head in. He's English, 50's,
              balding. Abrasive and cheerful.

              He notices her 'costume'.

                         The outfit's very Third World,

                         Screw you, Jock.
                                (into phone, Tagalog)
                         Credentials. Press credentials.

                         We'll be late for the riots!

              Leslie slams down the phone.

                         I hate the Third World. I want my
                         AT & T!

              INT. CAB - MOVING - DAY

              Jock and Leslie ride in back.

                                (re: her outfit)
                         What do you think?

                         You look charming in green.

                         The color of envy. I made the
                         newscast last night.

                         Not bad. For a 'virgin.'

                         I prefer "rookie."

              The cab swerves around a group of PROTESTORS in the middle
              of the street.

                         This may not be such a good idea,
                         Les. You've no press pass.

                         You son-of-a-bitch. You promised me

              In the distance, shots RING off the buildings. Leslie and
              Jock duck down behind the front seat.

                         Welcome to the Philippines!


              The familiar brightly-colored jeepneys ROAR up and down
              the crowded streets belching black fumes.

              A band of STUDENTS marches in a circle. They carry signs
              and banners protesting the Marcos regime. Army TROOPS and
              POLICE stand at the ready.

              The cab pulls up as RODDY and HYUN set up camera and sound
              gear on the curb. Roddy's a bearded Australian in his
              20's. Hyun's Korean, late 30's.

              Leslie joins them. Takes notes. Jock sneaks a few shots
              with  his camcorder. A police COMMANDER peers at them
              through binoculars. Shouts across the street:

                         No pictures!

              Hyun and Roddy stop shooting. Raise their hands in the air
              to indicate compliance.

                         Keep rolling!

                         Like hell!

                         Roddy, this is not some damn
                         stand-up in front of the Palace.
                         This is real stuff!

                         Very dangerous.

                         Either roll it or I'm on the phone
                         to New York for a new crew.

              She punches the record button on the Betacam. A few
              Troopers move closer.

              Hyun and Roddy wave their press passes like flags of
              surrender. Leslie covers her chest with her arms where her
              press pass should be.

              Jock keeps shooting furiously. He looks up to see a
              bayonet cross perilously close to his face. Speaks to the
              YOUNG TROOPER at the end of the rifle:

                         Hi, nice to see you. My, you are
                         a handsome young fascista, aren't

              The Commander's eyes dart about -- coming to rest on the
              rotating cassette inside the Betacam. In seconds, the
              group is ringed by edgy soldiers, guns pointed.

                                       LESLIE /SUBTITLE
                         Hey, it's okay. No more pictures.
                         We're turning it off.

              Showing off for his Commander, the Young Trooper grimly
              rips the Betacam from Roddy's shoulder. Smashes it on the

                         Come on! You can't do that!
                         American press. American Press!

              The Young Trooper pries the tape from the machine with his
              bayonet. Hands it to the Commander.

                         Press? Press?

              He pulls her folded arms roughly to her sides. A black
              vintage Mercedes glides into the background.

                         Where is your press pass, Miss
                         American Press?
                                (to the others,
                         No credentials.

              The RATTLE of safety bolts being released echoes across
              the steaming pavement.

              A long, very tense beat. Jock sneaks a solemn glance at

                         Deep doo-doo, love.

              The door of the Mercedes pops open. MANUEL MIRANDA, JR.
              steps out.

              He's followed by INO BARTANA, armed with a Swiss HK
              submachine gun.

              Manuel's a charming, handsome Filipino in his 40's with
              refined Castilian features. 'Ino' Innocente Bartana is a
              massive man in his 20's. Not charming, handsome or

                                      MANUEL /SUBTITLE
                         These press are like flies on shit.
                         Very annoying.

                         Very annoying, sir.

                                       MANUEL /SUBTITLE
                         But, like flies, very necessary.
                         To the natural order of things.

              The Commander nods, knowingly. Manuel returns to the car,
              followed by Ino. They get in and speed away.

                         "Flies on shit?" Who was that
                         masked man?

                         Manuel Miranda, Junior.


              Special FORCES outfitted with automatic weapons secure the
              entrance. In the distance, Philippine Army REGULARS stand
              at full alert with fixed bayonets in front of a group of
              protesting STUDENTS.

                                       JOCK (OVER)
                         Marcos' point man on tribal
                         minorities. Educated at Harvard.


              The glittering elite of Manila SOCIETY are assembled at
              elaborately decorated tables. FERDINAND and IMELDA MARCOS
              and other government OFFICIALS sit at the dais.

              The room is ringed with armed GUARDS. Manuel addresses the
              crowd from a flower-covered podium.

              Jock and Leslie huddle at a table in back with other
              members of the PRESS.

              In contrast with her earlier 'scruffy' camouflage look,
              Leslie's now clothed in a charming traditional Filipino
              embroidered (Maria Clara) dress.

                         His family's one of the oldest in
                         the Philippines. Very well
                         situated. Mines, newspapers, TV
                         stations, timber mills.

                         Why would he take a post as a
                         cabinet minister?

              Jock's very cagey about this. He just grins.

                         Good question.

                                (at podium)
                         We hear a great deal today about
                         conservation. Endangered species.
                         Saving the rain forest. But what
                         about human beings? Surely native
                         cultures must be considered at
                         least as important as other natural
                         resources. We cannot, must not,
                         forget that our national
                         minorities, the so-called pagan
                         tribes of the Philippines, are our
                         blood brothers.