In three versions of the same story, seen through the eyes of little Manuel, director Raul Ruiz has created another engaging, mystical look at the nature of life, more effective, perhaps in the first segment than in the shortened last two episodes. Originally, the versions were told in three separate TV installments of almost one hour each; here they are cut to just over two hours total. When the child Manuel wanders into a garden that is off-limits to him, he meets an unidentified fisherman, and another boy -- the boy is actually himself several years down the road. Manuel experiences three different versions of his encounters in the garden, revealing that fate can have several twists and turns in one's life, depending on decisions that are made early on.
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