Professor Jorge Serra Hamilton, an American scientist specialist in the atomic bomb, flees from their transcendental duties, in order to take shelter incognito and for a time in the idyllic Spanish village of Calabuch, a small village on the Mediterranean shores. Oblivious to the relevance of their occasional guest, local residents spend their time engaged in their modest daily chores. The affable professor Hamilton not only integrates perfectly into the small town of Calabuch, forging a deep friendship with its neighbors, but there he will find happiness he craved for.
Guido Santrori, a bank employee, becomes a widower when his wife dies after having a car accident in which she was accompanied by a wealthy industrialist. To rest, he decides to take a vacation in a seaside resort in Mar de Plata. There he will meet Elena Ezzquellia, daughter of a rich family with aristocratic pretensions, with whom she will initiate a relationship that will unleash the wrath of her family.
During the time of the Spanish-American War, the commandant of a Spanish detachment in Baler, in the Philippines, realizes that the native people of his district are planning an insurrection. He orders his troops to entrench in the village church. During their stay, which is prolonged for nearly a year, there are several incidents which show the tenacity and heroism of the Spanish.
Marisa Fuentereal remembers the days of resistance in the sanctuary of the Virgen de la Cabeza. There he met Aracil, a man of extremist ideas that saved her from enemy troops, then Captain Cortés, who died in the final battle with the most defenders.
Marta spends a few days alone while her husband is on a business trip. But she starts to get scared when she hears some mysterious steps every night on the top floor. Her neighbor will try to convince her that it is her husband’s footsteps when he returns from work, but Marta does not believe it and begins to investigate.
Luke Barret loses his memory after a bullet grazed his head in a shoot-out in the wild West. Trying to discover the man who tried to kill him, he will discover he is a paid gunman too, and terrible truths about his family.
When the convent is about to be closed and the nuns are dispersed, one of the sisters comes up with a saving idea that can restore the community’s well-being. This 1985 Spanish film reveals one of the many terrible aspects of 16th century Spain, still plagued by the radical Christian Inquisition, one of a plethora of difficulties Spaniards faced at the time.
In this masterpiece of contemplative cinema by Spain’s Víctor Erice (The Spirit of the Beehive), the painter Antonio López attempts, as he has many times before, to capture the play of light on the leaves of the quince tree in his garden, and discovers something eternal in the process.