Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Eschewing a realistic depiction of Franco's Spain in the 1940s, director Fernando Trueba uses a touch of sarcastic humor in painting a 16-year-old's brief stay in a TB sanatorium. Manolo (Jorge Sanz) is one of two brothers who ends up in a tuberculosis sanatorium that is specifically designed for somewhat younger children. Manolo's problem is that he is experiencing the first stirrings of sexual desire and cannot look upon the female nurses and staff with the innocent eyes of the other children. His first overtures to one of the nurses meets with rejection; in fact, the nurse leaves the sanatorium. Manolo really asks for trouble when he falls for another pretty nurse and she herself becomes attracted to him.
awakening, brother, coming-of-age, conflict, doctor/nurse, extramarital-affair, innocence, institution, naivete, orphan, passion, romance, sanitarium, sexual-awakening, sexuality, soldier, teenagers, vanity, youth, boy