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Ivan goes to live with his father, Vicente, the station-master in a small remote village in inland Portugal. It is raining. The scent of trees and undergrowth still recall the devastating forest fires. The river flows by the railway station. People go about their shores, each wrapped in his own life. Gloria lives with a nurse, Teresa, who looks after emigrants' children in the house next to the station. She always seems to be slipping away from everything and everyone. She spends countless hours playing on the hillsides and among the ruins with Ivan. She wanders, strangely attracted by Mauro. Mauro has come back from prison. He had set his brother Vicente's house on fire. Now, circling the station on his motorbike, he is threatening him again. Set apart from all this is the secret refuge, the only safe place on the planet. Ivan is happy to share Gloria's secret. A small haven hidden in the river, below the water that separates the worlds. One feels like staying here.