After 20 years of exile in Argentina, journalist/poet Manuel (Luppi) returns to Spain to find his small town, Higueras, packing up in preparation for the flooding of the valley for a new reservoir. The difficult emotional and financial stocktaking undertaken by the town's inhabitants intensifies his own - not least in regard to his relationships with his dead brother's wife (an old flame), and idiosyncratic town elder Don José (Alterio). The film works familiar material to self-conscious effect. The excellent performances are undermined somewhat by over-emphatic and sometimes clumsy direction, with elements of farce or tragedy concerning minor characters reduced to histrionics. Undoubtedly a sincere lament for the abrogative effect on relationships and notions of belonging by change and the passage of time, but the poetry is missing and the emotions are stifled.