A young British woman is hired as a governess by a wealthy Argentine family. Through her position, she slowly sees how the upper class of society is slowly crumbling, an...展开d how a fascist movement is preparing to install itself in power.
In this drama about women living in a repressive society, Julie Christie plays Miss Mary Mulligan, a governess who has taken on a job with a wealthy Argentinian family in 1938. Her charges are the teens Caroline (Sofia Viruboff), Johnny (Donald McIntire), and the younger Teresa (Barbara Bunge). The father is a patriarch who believes in old-fashioned religion that keeps women in their places, several notches below the level of men. While Miss Mary espouses a highly conservative stance herself, it is clear that she is frustrated and feeling just a little isolated. None of the women in the drama fare very well at the hands of the society around them, and one transgression on the part of Miss Mary has unhappy consequences for more than herself alone.
Director Maria Luisa Bemberg (1922 - 1995) developed into one of Latin America's most significant female filmmakers, according to critics. The brief nature of her career - she started making films at age fifty - nine - did not detract from her accomplishments in depicting and portraying modern women.