Alsino, a boy of 10 or 12, lives with his grandmother in a remote area of Nicaragua. He's engulfed in the war between rebels and government troops when a US advisor orders the army to ope...展开n a staging area by the boy's hamlet. Alsino tries to be a child, climbing trees with a girl, looking through his grandfather's trunk of mementos and trying to fly; he goes to town to sell a saddle, has his first drink and is taken to a brothel. But the war surrounds him. The US advisor takes Alsino on a chopper flight, but he's unimpressed. The soldiers' cruelties awake rebel sympathies in Alsino, and after an army assault backfires, the lad is fully baptized into the conflict.
Alsino & the Condor is a multinational production, utilizing financing from Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba and Costa Rica. The film is related from the point of view of Alsino (Alan Esquivel), an impoverished Nicaraguan lad. While his country and its rotting buildings crumble all around him, the idealistic Alsino imagines himself to be a condor, flying far above his deprivations. It is during one of his hallucinations that Alsino jumps from a tree; the fall cripples him, turning him into a hunchback. He will only straighten out to his full proud height upon joining a guerilla band, fighting the corrupt government armies. Significantly, Alsino & the Condor was the first production to be filmed in Nicaragua after the Sandinista revolution and the overthrow of Somoza.