One dysfunctional family's problems hold up a mirror to larger issues of racism and misplaced patriotism in this Spanish drama. Berta (Marisa Paredes) is a nurse who is edging into middle age and looking for a husband; she also looks after the three teenage children of her recently deceased sister. Eduardo (Imanol Arias) is a hard-drinking police investigator who encounters Berta during a trip to the hospital; they hit it off and begin dating. But Berta's new romance could pose a problem for her niece, Lucia (Maria Isasi), whose boyfriend, Fausto (Jose Luis Alcobendas), has a lucrative illegal business smuggling illegal aliens from North Africa into Spain. Adding to tensions around the house, Lucia's brothers, Raul (Alberto Ferreiro) and Guillermo (Roger Casamajor), are members of an extreme right-wing group who have been implicated in the murder of an illegal immigrant from Senegal (Emilio Buale). Berta tries to ignore the ugly truth about the youngsters in her care, but when Eduardo is assigned to investigate the case of the murdered immigrant, she is forced to face the reality of her family's actions. Salvajes was the first feature film from director Carlos Molinero. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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