The plot of the film is taken from two traditional Portuguese tales: A donzela que vai a guerra («The maiden who went war» 15th Century?), of Judeo-Iberian origin, and a novella, The dead one’s hand, orally transmitted, which forms part of the Bluebeard cycle.
Dom Rodrigo has two daughters, one legitimate, the other bastard, Silvia and Susana. Growing old, and without male heir, Dom Rodrigo decides to marry off Silvia to his neighbour, a rich nobleman, Dom Paio, with the aim of securing and expanding his domain. After a brief visit from the fiancé, a great glutton and skirt-chaser, Dom Rodrigo leaves for the court to invite the king to the nuptials. Upon his departure, he instructs the girls not to open the doors of the mansion to any stranger.
One day a pilgrim arrives, requesting hospitality, and Silvia disobeying her father’s orders admits the stranger. By the fireside, the pilgrim offers a gift of an orange to each sister. Susana eats hers, but Silvia only pretends to. The pilgrim later penetrates the room shared by the two sisters, and while Silvia watches in terror, feigning sleep, he rapes Susana, drugged into unconsciousness by the orange.
In the hall, a hand placed upon the table radiates light. At the threshold, against a background of rain, the pilgrim blows a horn. Silvia runs to shut him out. The pilgrim cries out for the return of the hand which is sacred and belongs to his ancestors. Thinking that she is dealing with the devil’s hand, Silvia refuses. He promises that if Silvia gives back the hand she will come to know everything. The girl tells him to reach in through a portal to receive the glowing hand. The man does so, and Silvia outs off his hand with a sword.
When their father returns, the girls keep what has happened hidden from him. The marriage with Dom Paio takes place, but during the banquet a knight arrives demanding Silvia’s hand in marriage. The dumbfounded father finally agrees, on condition that the knight slays a fierce dragon no human could vanquish. The dragon slain, Silvia, accompanied by her sister, is led to the knight’s castle, whereupon the knight reveals his true identity, his amputated stump, and his intention to kill her. Silvia informs her sister. Susana takes her place and succeeds in helping Silvia to escape from the castle. When he discovers the trick, the knight follows in pursuit, but Silvia manages to regain er father’s house. Once there, Marias, the estate steward, tells her that her father has been kidnapped by bandits during a hunt, but that first an expedition must be mounted to rescue Susana. In the meantime, as preparations are made, Susana appears. Silvia decides to take up arms on her father’s, behalf. Susana attempts to dissuade her. Silvia in soldier’s clothing disguises her sex and takes the name Silvestre.
Silvestre is enlisted under the command of a young lieutenant pursuing her father’s kidnappers, and despite her youth behaves bravely on the battlefield where she falls wounded. The lieutenant discovers her true sex and falls in love with the girl who is presented at court.
A nobleman appears who affirms to know the whereabouts of Dom Rodrigo and promises to bring him back safe and sound of Silvia consents to be his wife. The girl accepts.
During the nuptial banquet, Susana discovers that the bridegroom is name other than the pilgrim and knight in new disguise, and unmasks him by exhibiting the glowing hand preserved in a box of salt. The villain tries to kill her but ends slain by the lieutenant. Silvia’s unexpected sorrow infuriates her father who reconciles himself with his bastard daughter. The guests then fling the villain’s remains to be devoured in the pigsty and Silvia leaves with the lieutenant to begin a journey through the stars.
1.79GB | 1h 57mn | 762×572 | mkv
Subtitles:Portuguese, English, French, Italian