December 1994; a small village near Valencia (Spain). Dr Martì is taking an unexpected early retirement and preparing to depart for Valencia leaving behind his companion, Roser, who keeps the village inn; he is replaced by Andreu, a young doctor who has come from the town to get over his mother's death and the end of a love affair. Dolors, a young girl who works at the baker's, is sole carer for her little brother, Angel, and her sick maternal grandmother; since her mother, Teresa, abandoned them one day to join a circus. Manolo, an olive oil merchant, leads a double life as a petty criminal, organising burglaries and contraband activities with some of the local youth. As the days pass slowly by, and people come and go, lives intersect and feelings follow their mysterious course. All have their secret wounds and hidden dreams: Miquel, the farmer, loves Roser, who thinks she's been dumped by Martì; Dolors hesitates between several suitors, whilst writing unanswered leters to her absent mother. Angel wards off his loneliness by inventing a poetic parallel world in which the cherry trees, the rocks and the streams are all alive; and Andreu, too, gradually gets used to life in this cut-off part of the world. But illness and death also play their part: Martì is in fact suffering from cancer, and the grandmother dies - although her loss will reunite Dolors, Angel and Teresa, their mother. Stressing mood, sound and visuals over dialogue, Recha has made a played-down film predicated on suppressed fellings, a fiolm which suggests rather than describes the complexity of the human heart. Using ellipsis and fragmentations, the Catalan film-maker skilfully achieves a mosaiclike montage which slowly draws us into the regular rhytms of these mundane but never ossified lives.