Simoun, a wealthy jeweler has recently come to the Philippines. His wealth and connections make him sought-after in society and influential as well. He uses his influence to encourage the government officials to become corrupt and further abuse the people. He is actually Crisostomo Ibarra from (Noli Me Tangere), turned bitter and vengeful. He has returned after thirteen years to foment revolution and to rescue his beloved Maria Clara from the convent. He tries to convince Basilio to join him so that he may also take his revenge but Basilio refuses.
Simoun’s first attempt at revolution fails when he hears of Maria Clara’s death and breaks down. Then Basilio, along with other students were arrested for forming an allegedly seditious organization. His sweetheart Juli goes to plead with an influential friar to assist her in securing Basilio’s release. She is killed trying to escape the friar’s amorous advances. When Simoun arranges for Basilio’s release, Basilio is now also bitter and vengeful as well as grateful to Simoun. He offers his support to Simoun’s second attempt at sparking a revolution and watches as Simoun plants a bomb at the house where the wedding reception of Paulita and Juanito Pelaez is taking place.
Seeing all the people, most of them innocent guests who are about to be harmed, Basilio’s conscience starts to bother him but he knows he has to escape. As he starts to run away, he sees his best friend Isagani standing disconsolately near the house. Isagani had been working toward reform and with his idealism, intelligence, and eloquence had become something of a leader among the students. Basilio feels compelled to tell Isagani of the plot. Knowing that the woman he loves is inside, Isagani runs into the house, grabs the bomb and throws it into the river, averting the explosion and the revolution.
Simoun takes refuge in the home of a kind Filipino priest, Father Florentino, knowing it is only a matter of time...