The film is an intense South American prison drama about two inmates; Luis Molina (Hurt) a homosexual, the other Valentin Arregui (Julia), a political prisoner. In a brutal, filthy Brazilian prison two men sharing a cell are incarcerated for very different reasons. Molina has been arrested for having sexual relations with a 16-year old boy. Arregui is a journalist who has spoken out against the fascist regime in command of the country. During their long and difficult ordeal, Molina attempts to break up the monotony by retelling a romantic movie drama from the 40's about Nazis and nightclub singers. The female lead in his imaginary movies is a beautiful woman named Leni (Braga).
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All the while, Arregui is tortured in an attempt to make him reveal the identity of his co-conspirators. Part of the torment is poison placed in the food making Molina and then Arregui violently ill. Molina cares for his ailing cellmate and helps clean him after a foul bout with diarrhea. Eventually they come to rely on each other for their very existence. It becomes evident that Molina is cooperating with the warden, trying to learn information from Arregui in exchange for favors such as leaving the prison to visit his aging mother and bringing food in for them.
Arregui warms up to his cellmate, relating the story of his capture and the woman he loves, Marta (Braga). Finally the last movie Molina conjures up for his cellmate is about a “Spiderwoman” (Braga). He is paroled but followed by agents from the prison as he makes a rendezvous with a contact of Arregui. He is intercepted, while Arregui in prison drifts into delirium, dreaming of Marta.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Fletcher