Plot:

1936. In a little and remote inland town of Andalusia (south to Spain), Higinio is a tailor and a town councilor who has recently got married to Rosa. After the outbreak of Spanish Civil War by General Franco’s coup d’etat, Higinio hides in his own house awaiting the right moment to escape with his wife but is caught in his attempt by his neighbor, Gonzalo, who blames Higinio for his brother’s death and is looking for revenge him. Captured by Franco’s soldiers, Higinio is driven along with other opposition prisoners by truck to a nearby prison, but the unwitting distraction from one of the prisoners gives him a chance to escape and runs across the town to his house where he is to remain hidden in a secret bunker as long as the war lasts. In the meantime, Gonzalo pays his wife occasional visits in the belief that she knows his whereabouts, sometimes torturing her to extract a confession. When the war comes to an end in 1939, Higinio learns from Rosa that Franco is now the ruler of Spain and that there is a reward for capturing him as well as other insurgents. After one of her father-in-law’s visit, Rosa and he succeed in moving Higinio into his father’s house in the hope that he helps them escape. But to their surprise Higinio’s father dies of natural causes and Rosa inherits and moves into her in-law’s house with Higinio as the secret occupant, who is unable to leave for fear of being killed by Franco’s police forces. He, nevertheless, offers a helping hand from the hideout to his wife who has taken charge of her late father-in-law’s sewing shop. But with time troubles increase: Rosa is molested and forced by Rodrigo, a young Civil Guard and one of her regular customers, causing that Higinio kills him and burying the body, and that a few months later Rosa tells Higinio that she’s pregnant of a son who is to be called Jaime. Despite Higinio’s opposition, unsure of the paternity of the child, Rosa abandons Higinio for a few months to visit her sister in order to hide her pregnancy to the rest of the town. Alone in the house, Higinio surprises the local postman with his male lover after they break into his theoretically empty house which they intend to use as their love nest. The three of them befriend and promise to keep their mutual secrets. When in 1945 World War II ends, Higinio’s hopes for Allied Forces defeating Franco’s Regime and freeing the country gradually vanish, he decides to continue his seclusion for years to come, in a surrounding of daily fear and paranoia, where Jaime is forced to say that he is Rosa’s nephew and that his parents died when he was a baby. With the house turned into a big cell, Higinio and Rosa’s relationship deteriorates due to decades of isolation, guilt and shame. In 1963, Jaime rises up as an idealist young man and, tired of a life of fear and terror, welcomes a friend at home who is wanted by Franco’s police forces and introduces him to his father who learns that there are many others like him in hiding. At the same time, Jaime confronts his parents about the life he has had and an determined Gonzalo keeps visiting Rosa’s sewing shop still tormented by his brother death, obsessed with the idea of seeking revenge and kill Higinio at any cost. But then, in 1969, Higinio’s life changes after he hears a special news on the radio.

Also Known As: Το Ατέλειωτο Χαντάκι, Der endlose Graben, Wieczny okop, La Trinchera Infinita, Вечный окоп, Une vie secrète, Viimeinen juoksuhauta, The Endless Trench, La trinchera infinita

Leave a Reply