In 1934, the dark storm clouds of war were already gathering over Europe. Peoples whose lives had been reduced to abject misery by the twin blows of World War I and the Depression sought a better life while those of rand and privilege opposed them. This festering conflict came to a head first in Spain, where a military coup let the first modern, unconstrained war that was soon to become horribly familiar to the rest of Europe. By the time Spain's fratricidal conflict ended, over one million people had perished.
Against this grim backdrop we watch as Juan and Pedro Avila choose their different paths. Brother is set against brother as the maelstrom of war carries them away.
Juan strives for the Communists, and falls in love with the beautiful Hilda Krantz, a deadly communist agent. When she betrays him he fights on, though wrecked with cynicism and despair. When he finally stands over his brother's body on a battlefield, he comes to see the barrenness of his cause and redirects himself towards the light.