This subtitled Welsh language drama, the second feature from Ffilm Cymru, is based on a novel by Caradog Prichard dealing with a harrowing remembered childhood in a remote slate-mining community in the 1920s, and is essentially of the poetic naturalism school. It cuts back and forward from the '50s to the '20s as a man (D Roberts) revisits the village where he spent his traumatic, fatherless adolescence with his hard-pressed mother. Past and present begin to meld. The film shows their hard daily lives, conducted under the vigilant, sin-watching eye of the church, with matter-of-fact honesty and no little humour. The bright, imaginative boy (T Roberts) - angels are no strangers to him - has a warm relationship with his mother. But she is vulnerable: when she is assaulted by a mad itinerant tinker, her frenzied need for expiation pushes her over the edge, and unbalances the boy. Emlyn's attitude to redemption is as enigmatic as the recurring images - scudding skies over green hills, cleansing water, the impassive face of the Virgin. How much does heaven allow?