This touching saga of a young teen (Elsa Daniel, 1959 "Best Actress" at Cannes for this role) is told with a depth and breadth of understanding that reveals how oppression in any form can trample a fragile humanity. The young teen has been raised by a despotic mother overcome with religious zeal and a father who rules over the household with a heavy, iron hand. In many ways, the household mirrors its place and time -- Argentina in the 1920s -- and could be understood as a metaphor for the larger picture. The teen is forcibly kept innocent of the sexual nuances of some adult relationships and so when her father's best friend starts to lust after her, she is not too clear on her rights, his intentions, or the consequences -- and in effect, the "friend" finally seduces/rapes her. Shattered and emotionally traumatized, the young woman has nowhere to turn since neither her father or her mother are exactly models of understanding.
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