Once upon a time there was a comely maiden who lived with a tame baby ostrich and her wicked granny in a windswept hacienda dripping with alabaster and gilt and paper flowers. But the foolish girl forgot to snuff out the candles one night, and the magnificent palace blazed into ashes. 'My poor darling,' murmured the grandmother gently, 'your life will not be long enough to repay me', and she set the virgin to work as a courtesan. And admirers came from far and wide to follow their exotic progress through the Mexican desert and to lie with Erendira... This febrile fairytale, adapted by Gabriel García Márquez from his own novella, is handsome to behold and laden with symbols, though of what it's difficult to say. Only Irene Papas, as the imperious, peacock-plumed beldame, brings a touch of mad comic grandeur to brighten the portentous solemnity.