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 open 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.
Spanish with English Subtitles