Cuba, 1968. Eduardo Alvarez, a rural communist doctor, goes to visit his once-wealthy landowner brother, Juan, and his beautiful wife, Isabel. Despite Castro's policies of eliminating the bourgeoisie, Juan and Isabel are still the happiest couple in the world, their baby Ana being the testament of their supreme love. It's all laughs and jokes, when inexplicably, Juan takes a machete, beheads his wife and goes after Ana. Ed is forced to kill his own brother in order to save the baby. As he lays dying, Juan cheerfully predicts the day when Ed will find it in his heart to kill the baby.
Determined to escape his past, Ed takes the baby to America to start a new life. As an act of penance, Ed becomes devoutly religious and sexually celibate, dedicating all his energies to raising his niece with the utmost care. Ed is soon rewarded with a successful practice, a big suburban house, and a gifted young child. Ed is completely happy. Ana means everything to him, the symbol of his love and redemption. Their life together is perfect.
That is, until Ana hits puberty. Ed has turned into a fat, jaded Conservative desperately trying to hang onto Ana, who has blossomed into the gorgeous reincarnation of Isabel. When Ana starts dating an outsider named Todd, Ed can no longer repress the memory of a lurid affair that he once had—with his brother's wife. This time around, however, Ed finds himself in the role of his brother. Ed is now the victim of a liberal young man (much like himself once) who is taking away his love. Ed tries to confine Ana, but she rebels, making Ed even more obsessed with her. As Ana's sexuality awakens, so does Ed's like some monster being prodded from a 16-year hibernation. Every time he thinks of sex, something bad happens. He starts drinking heavily and medicating himself, stirring up bizarre hallucinations. He botches up his patients at work. Every night, Ed wakes up to the terrible anxiety that he may have just killed the love of his life.
Ed's only salvation is to let her go. But as fate would have it, Ana is betrayed by Todd and her best friend, and she comes running back to Ed. Disillusioned with her assimilation into this country, Ana searches for an identity. She discovers clues that may point to Ed being her father, and so she tries to get closer still to Ed. Ed is joyful at first, but their renewed intimacy is much more than he bargained for—Ed realizes that he has fallen in love with his own daughter. Ana has now become the embodiment of all his lust, anger, sin and guilt. Will Ed be able to save her from himself, or will his brother Juan have the last laugh?
HELL is a horrific tale about desire and guilt. It is the story of how one man's journey toward redemption eventually leads him down a nightmarish road to his own damnation.
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