Appearance of Life tells the story of an Argentine woman, Margarita, whose daughter becomes one of the many desparecidos of the Dirty War. The story is based on the author's years of research and dozens of in-depth, in-person interviews.
The piece begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 24, 1976. A military coup has overthrown the democratic government, putting in place a reign of terror to crush all perceived "subversives". One afternoon Margarita, an ordinary housewife in a country ruled by the culture of machismo, waits at home for her 20-year-old daughter to return - but she never does. Margarita pursues every avenue she can think of -- the police, the church, the politicians -- in the failed hope of finding her daughter, till at last Margarita discovers group of woman called Las Madres, the Mothers. Joining them, wearing a white kerchief on her head and carrying a photo of her missing daughter in her hands, she becomes an implacable presence in the Plaza de Mayo, relentlessly asking "¿Ha visto a mi hija? Have you seen my daughter?"