‘Alcarras’ Ending, Explained: What Becomes Of Rogelio’s Land?

In Carla Simon’s second feature “Alcarras,” the director’s Catalan sensibilities thicken the spumescent dread of a multi-generational family of farmers facing the imminent loss of their agrarian ways of life. The vibrant softness of her debut feature, “Summer 1993,” is refreshed in “Alcarras.” Only this time around, the thorns lying beneath the opaque rosiness cut deeper than one would expect. A tale as old as time is earnestly felt in the tepid absence of melodrama as we are hosted by the Sole clan. The unalloyed sentiments communicated by non-actors who have, to a significant extent, lived what they’ve delineated in the film amplify what we are led to feel for the Catalan family.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Alcarras’ Film?

The mirthful land on which a family of farmers has sown the values of simpler ways of life and harvested the sweet rewards, expect the chariot of time. An overwhelming metaphor for the imminent, fateful changes is obvious in the game that little Iris and her wild cousins have immersed themselves in. Embraced in the unfettered refuge of a dilapidated car, the saplings of the Sole family fight off imaginary aliens and alert each other as their spaceship gets too close to the sun. The sudden arrival of a monstrous boom truck robs the little ones of their playpen as little Iris helplessly watches the car getting scooped up and taken away. The scorned child runs to make a grumpy complaint to her father, Quimet. But the sole patriarch has graver losses to address. The motherly land that Quimet’s father, Rogelio Sole, had insouciantly built up his life on has long held off the threats of changing times. But as all ways of life must succumb to the unrelenting march of progress, Rogelio’s family stands to lose their home and their abundant orchards to make space for newer things.


Why Has Rogelio’s Family Been Asked To Hand Over Their Land?

A member of the Pinyol family had, in good faith, bequeathed the land to Rogelio. The older values didn’t relinquish their gracious sense of camaraderie to the more pragmatic means that rely on paperwork. For generations, Rogelio’s family has lovingly transformed the land that had only one fig tree planted by an older Pinyol into a Xanadu of fig and peach orchards. The tokens of love and grace shared between the two families fail to invoke any sense of kindness in the young Pinyol, who doesn’t see why he should give up his family’s land to people who have no official paperwork backing their claims. And Pinyol’s actions, however devoid of compassion they may be, can hardly be held against him. The dispassionate capitalist economy has violently struck the small farms with significantly downscaled payments that don’t even help them break even. Some families, like that of the Pinyols, have had to opt for investing in industries that would bring forth a newer time and result in more money with less work. Rogelio’s family has been given the excruciating choice of replacing their lively orchards with solar panels if they don’t wish for their home to be snatched away.

How Does The Changing Times Affect Rogelio’s Family?

Still cradling his faith in the long-forsaken sense of loyalty, old Rogelio means to appeal to the Pinyols’ sensible side by offering them a basket of figs. While carefully picking the plumpest figs from the plentiful orchard, adolescent Mariona listens to her grandfather reminisce about the kinder times for the 100th time. During the fervent urgency of the Spanish Civil War, Rogelio’s family had given the Pinyols asylum and replenishment in their basement. In a heartfelt gesture of acknowledgment and appreciation, the Pinyols allowed the Soles to cultivate their lands. A basket of figs does nothing to change the hard-headed landlord’s mind, and the throbbing process of coming to terms with the bleak realities of the present hits Rogelio’s tender sensibilities with the might of an asteroid.


Quimet has always been one to opt for herculean efforts when it comes to farming, tending to the plants, harvesting, and selling the figs and peaches. Even when the strenuous amount of work makes his back give out, he chooses to be in denial about how long he can carry on with farming. He seeks assistance from the black immigrant laborers, some of whom he lays off mercilessly when times get tough. Quimet’s wife, Dolors, has built her life around the thankless job of taking care of the family and providing her labor in the orchards. With even more intensity than his father, Quimet strives to resist the forthcoming changes that follow the pace of time. He would rather push the limits of his splintering physical state and kill rabbits to protect the plants in the middle of the night than choose to replace the greens with solar panels.

Quimet’s staunch sentiments aren’t necessarily how other members of the family feel. His young son Roger spends a large part of his days working with his father and helping him harvest and transport the fruits. But the responsibility that Roger feels isn’t as acute and self-destructive as that of Quimet. A hazy hangover after a languid night of partying with his peers makes Roger forget to stop the water flowing into the land. He has secretly planted marijuana away from his father’s eyes, as he has heard that it is far more lucrative than fruits. Dolors and Mariona spot Quimet’s brother-in-law Cisco and his wife in close cahoots with the Pinyols at the market. His wife and daughter’s vain attempts at keeping the triggering news away from him only work for a fleeting bit, as Quimet is soon met with the stinging sight of solar panels being installed on Cisco’s side of the land. Maniacal Quimet rushes over and roughs up Cisco. In the gloomy aftermath of the impulsive feud, the person paying the biggest price seems to be little Iris, who can’t play with her twin cousins Pau and Pere anymore.


What Becomes Of Rogelio’s Land?

Rogelio may not be unequivocally expressive of how it breaks his heart to witness the rift between his kids, but his increasing silence speaks volumes about his wretched state of mind. Standing upright as the flagbearer of mercy and compassion, Rogelio unwittingly passes down the same values to his grandchildren. The song he sings, coloring the outline of the love he feels for his land and its people, radiates the same profusion of love as does Iris’ voice as she sings it for him on his birthday. The little girl is coming up to inherit her grandfather’s tenderness of heart. Rogelio’s concern for the neighbor’s sick cow is earnestly reflected in the way Iris prays for the souls of the dead rabbits. In an affable design of life, the polar generations of the Sole family have found a blissful way of communicating older and newer values and a functional way of establishing a magnanimous harmony. Being affected the most by their fragmented takes on the changes that are coming their way are the middle-aged members of the Sole family. It isn’t just Nati who disapproves of her brother for the sake of standing by her husband; Quimet’s other sister Gloria also lashes out at him for his unsustainable, rigid ways of life.

The effervescent tension within the family greatly upsets Mariona. Days spent in the ardent practice of a Europop dance mean nothing to Mariona, who is too grumpy about getting on stage when the time comes. Quimet worsens his relationship with Roger by burning the marijuana that he’d planted. Quimet’s disillusionment with farm life is glaring in his lackluster response to learning how Roger’s efforts have been appreciated by the cooperative. The brewing rage within Roger flows out with the water he intentionally drowns the land with. But the Soles aren’t a family that holds on to bitterness. As it happens, it is Cisco who fetches an inebriated Roger from a local dive and delivers the boy to Dolors, who welcomes him back with a slap. Roger uncomplainingly joins his father in harvesting peaches that they are to bring to a protest. Quimet’s progressive acceptance of the imminent changes is evident in his decision to join the farmers’ protest, screaming out for fair prices and running his truck over a blush of peaches—something that he would never have thought of doing before. Roger and Mariona avenge the looming loss of their orchards by dropping off dead rabbits at Pinyol’s door. Bidding goodbye to the fruit-bearing summer, the Sole family cans peaches together for the last time. The children run around the swimming pool, embraced by the greens that are now being uprooted to make space for the solar panels. Any animosity felt toward something as beneficial as solar panels can’t possibly be rational. But at the same time, the morose loss that the family suffered is a vastly valid and irreparable crisis that everything old and simple has to be subjected to, no matter how desperately the idea of change is held off. But all isn’t lost for Rogelio’s family. Just like Iris, Pau, and Pere have discovered a new cave to play in, the Soles will also find their place in the changing world, granted they hold on to each other.


“Alcarras” is a 2022 adventure drama film directed by Carla Simon.

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Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjeehttps://muckrack.com/lopamudra-mukherjee
Lopamudra nerds out about baking whenever she’s not busy looking for new additions to the horror genre. Nothing makes her happier than finding a long-running show with characters that embrace her as their own. Writing has become the perfect mode of communicating all that she feels for the loving world of motion pictures.

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