The young peasantry of a Brazilian village launch a grass-roots rebellion against the brutal businessmen who oppress and exploit them, providing the basis of this gentle, socially conscientious Brazilian drama. Jocelia is one of those villagers. She has come to Rio de Janeiro to study law and currently works in a homeless shelter. There she meets one of the men who enforced the businessmen's unfair laws. Their history is then presented via flashback. It all began 10 years ago in the village of Maracao where children and their parents are forced to work in the horrible cane fields. The leader of the town controllers cheats them out of their only real source of income, fresh crabs. The people are also forced to pay a high price for water from the community well. The people are miserable, but live peacefully under the many rules until a young nun arrives. The village youth are drawn to her and begin hanging around her humble abode. Though she does not lead them or try to incite them to action against the dictators, the youth are inspired by her presence. It is they who secretly organize to overthrow the town crooks so that everyone can have free access to water.
~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide