|Directed by||Imanol Uribe|
Juan José Ballesta
12 year-old Carol and her mother Aurora visit their family's hometown in Spain, during the Civil War in 1938. It is Carol's first time in the country, as she grew up in New York in the United States. Her American father, Robert, is fighting in the frontlines as a pilot with the International Brigade. Aurora keeps in touch with her husband by writing letters, which are carried to the frontlines by a Portuguese smuggler.
Aurora's family is conservative and middle-class; her and Carol's liberal American manners bring culture shock to the community, especially to the Catholic clergy. In a visit to her former teacher and best friend Maruja, Aurora reveals that she is seriously ill, and that she in fact came home to die.
After her mother passes away, Carol asks her grandfather, Don Amalio, to keep it secret from her father so as not to add to his worries. She also convinces Maruja to write letters to Robert in her mother's name. Carol goes to live with her aunt Dolores and cousin Blanca; she befriends three local boys, including Tomiche, with whom she is attracted romantically.
After Madrid falls and the Republican faction is defeated in the war, Don Amalio, who is the only Republican sympathizer in a family supportive of General Franco, is forced to burn his pro-Republican books. Robert sneaks home, and Carol is overjoyed to see her father again. The local authorities immediately search Don Amalio's house for the fugitive. In the pursuit, Tomiche, whom Carol wanted to introduce to her father, is accidentally shot and killed.
In the epilogue, Carol returns to New York to her paternal grandparents' care. Don Amalio expresses hope that Carol's father, who has been taken prisoner, would suffer only a few months in jail at worst, being a citizen of the influential United States. In the car ride on the way to the port, Carol's surviving friends catch up on their bikes to say farewell; she imagines Tomiche with them, saying goodbye as well.
|This article related to a Spanish film of the 2000s is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|