April, 1940. Manolo, 16 years old, and Jesus, who is just 8, are taken by their older brother Pepe, a lieutenant in the Army, to a sanatorium for children suffering from tuberculosis, situated on the border with Portugal. Once in the sanatorium, Manolo, surrounded by boys all much younger than he is, feels a bit like the cock of the walk since the only other man around is the handyman Emilio who looks after the gardens and does whatever needs to be done about the place. His wife, Rafaela, is the cook.
Manolo meets Irene, a falangist who runs the sanatorium, and the school teacher, Miss Transito, a crabby spinster. He has his first sexual experience, albeit as a voyeur, with his nurse Vicenta. When she has to leave, her place is taken by a girl from the village, Maria Jesus, with whom Manolo falls hopelessly in love. A relationship grows up between them which will mark them both for ever.
Year of Enlightment (Spanish: El Año de las Luces, and also released as The Year of the Awakening) is a 1986 Spanish film directed by Fernando Trueba, starring Jorge Sanz and Maribel Verdú. The film is a coming of age story of a sixteen-year-old boy finding love and sex in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. The film was awarded the Silver Bear at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.
Year of Enlightment (1986)
Directed by: Fernando Trueba
Starring: Jorge Sanz, Maribel Verdú, Verónica Forqué, Manuel Alexandre, Rafaela Aparicio, Santiago Ramos, Chus Lampreave, José Sazatornil
Screenplay by: Rafael Azcona, Manuel Huete
Production Design by: Josep Rosell
Cinematography by: Juan Amorós
Film Editing by: Carmen Frías
Costume Design by: Luis Argüello
Set Decoration by: Ramón Moya
Art Direction by: Luis Argüello
Music by: Francisco Guerrero
Distributed by: Iberoamericana Films Producción
Release Date: December 5, 1986