Federico Luppi, the fine actor from Argentina, takes the lead role as Dr. Fuentes. He sets out to find his former students on the road to places he's never been. The shift in his life is caused by the death of his wife. He sets out in spite of his family not wanting him to leave. The aging doctor first encounters one his former students, now a drug dealer, using the same drugs he taught him to cure others, he is now using them for ill purposes. His journey has only begun and he finds many more dissapointments along the way. This is a beautiful film that is allegorical, historical, contemporary and packed with messages for the viewer to interpret. In his quest to find his students he finds his country to be quite different from the view he had of it prior to his leaving the city. He encounters missing people and tales of abductions from men with guns. The villagers call them white men with guns but are quick to say that the Indios are also now white men. Although the story takes place in an unnamed country, the parallels to Guatemala are clear. Having witnessed a corpse on the roadside while travelling in a bus (everyone gawked with little concern, as though it were a common sight) in Guatemala and seeing the treatment first hand of the military I am pretty sure this is where it is. However, this is unimportant as these occurences of hit squads and paramilitary goons, in cahoots with the military, are a frequent sight in many Latin American countries. Anyway, Dr. Fuentes picks up several people along the way to expand the tale. He picks up a "liberation priest" who abandons his collar and those who believed in him, a former military thug turned thief, an indigenous young woman who doesn't speak since she was raped by soldiers and a street-savy kid who is an orphan and Dr. Fuentes's guide. All represent the society Dr. Fuentes is unaware of and as they tell their sordid stories, amidst flashbacks and surreal dreams, a country whose people live in brutal chaos is revealed . This is a powerful movie, one to be seen more than once in order to fully enjoy. Although the story evolves around Dr. Fuentes and his crew, there are several encounters with a funny couple who are "informed" tourists with bad Spanish accents and worse pronunciation. A completly enthralling film, in spite of its length, that hits close to the harsh reality of life in Latin America. A beautiful film that is set to the backdrops of the jungle and it's relics from the past, as well as present day village life , it is a movie that is visually breathtaking and mentally stimulating. Recommended for those that like movies that carry a political and social commentary. Great stuff, see it before your next vacation to the tropics, so that as the guy from the radio says"and now you know the rest of the story" before you get there.