Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
A young aristocratic military cadet gets a dose of reality that shakes his high ideals to the core when he is called to fight in the Spanish Civil War in this French anti-war drama. Rafael, is the boy. He comes from a prominent Spanish family of military heroes and has spent his teens studying in a prestigious French military academy run by Dominicans. By October, 1936, Rafael had become a lieutenant; his life forever changes when he is suddenly called back to France to fight against the Communists and defend Franco. He is assigned to report to Col. Masagual, an outwardly tough officer who is flamboyantly effete in his private life. Masagual orders Rafael to first serve on the firing squad to prepare him for the atrocities of the front. In this capacity, the innocent Rafael is forced to slaughter all manner of prisoners, including women and children. It takes a heavy toll upon him and while he and the others shoot the guilty, the colonel and his aristocratic guests, who have come to watch the festivities, gaily sip tea and chat. Soon Rafael has become a literal killing machine, with little emotion. His first experience with sex degenerates into brutal rape. Then Rafael is ordered to kill a renegade priest. Suddenly he remembers his ideals and double-crosses the cruel colonel. This leads to a moral sparring match between the priest and the colonel. The gist of their argument is to demonstrate the stupidity of war.
training, war, anti-war, aristocracy, atrocity, bad-guy, cadet, good-guy, guilt, military, slaughter, war-atrocities