In a rural Spanish village in the early ’60s, nine-year-old Javi (Erburu) goes to visit his mother Teresa (Munt), a widow now living in a farmhouse with her brother-in-law Ignacio (Gomez), for the Easter holiday. Javi is forbidden from entering the room where (he's told) his father accidentally shot himself; then, one night he discovers Teresa and Ignacio making love. Later, he ventures into an old, supposedly haunted house with his friend Carlos (Garces). Believing he can hear the voices of the deceased — murdered lovers — Javi begins to question the circumstances under which his father died.
A gorgeously moody, even mysterious family drama seen through the eyes of a young, fantasy-prone protagonist, “Secrets” deals with death, marriage, growing pains, and Catholic repression. But sex remains the primal mystery for Javi who, in one memorable scene, tries to persuade a schoolgirl to lift her skirt in a game of show-me-yours that eventually causes him some embarrassment. An enthralling portrait of youthful wonderment and fairy-tale melodrama that brings to mind Victor Erice’s “The Spirit of the Beehive,” Armendariz’s “Secrets” is a unique period piece that has more than a few of its own.