One day, while a medical conference is underway at the old hotel where she lives with her divorced mother (Moran) and dispirited uncle (Urdapilleta), devout Catholic teen Amalia (Alche) is shocked and titillated when a distinguished married man, Dr. Jano (Belloso), inappropriately rubs against her in a crowded street. She begins spying on the visitor, hoping to save him from his sinful lust. But Amalia's fascination and Dr. Jano's indiscretions soon lead to a puzzling conundrum...
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Martel's atmospheric drama is the way she interlinks fervent religious belief and emergent sexuality in the persons of 14-year-old Amalia and her pal Josefina (Julieta Zylberberg), a gossip who spreads tawdry rumors about their Sunday-school instructor. Though she expertly dramatizes the blossoming of adolescent female longing and sexual curiosity, Martel's visual style and storytelling are elusive and suggestive. Even so, viewers who aren't looking for quick and easy resolutions to central conflicts will be rewarded by "The Holy Girl," a mysterious and formally dazzling tale of obsession and its discontents.