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In small-town Washington state in 1964, Czechoslovakian immigrant Selma Jezková and her preteen son Gene live in a rented trailer owned by Bill and Linda Houston; Bill is the town sheriff. Selma also has a small group of friends, including her co-worker and primary confidante Kathy, and Jeff, who wants to be her boyfriend. Jeff regularly waits outside Selma's workplace to drive her home, although she always refuses, not wishing to lead him on. Her primary job is working on the Anderson Tool factory assembly line, but she does whatever else she can to earn money. What only Kathy knows among Selma's friends is that she is slowly going blind from a genetic medical condition. She can see just enough to be able to do her job. Her primary reason for moving to the USA and working all the time is to earn enough money for an operation for Gene when he turns 13; he knows nothing about his mother's or his own degenerative eyesight. Selma allows only one indulgence in her life: anything to do with musicals which she loves, because they're an escape from her bleak life. Kathy often takes her to the cinema to watch old musicals and must describe to her what's happening on the screen, to the other patrons' annoyance. Selma also has the role of Maria in a community-theatre production of "The Sound of Music." Close to having enough money for the operation, Selma races against time before she loses enough sight to lose her job and her role in the musical. What may also threaten Selma's goal of the operation for Gene is some financial problems facing Bill, who feels pressured to provide Linda with the comforts of life to which she's accustomed.

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Release Date:

Oct 06, 2000


Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway


English, German, Czech

Production Companies:

Zentropa Entertainments, Trust Film Svenska, Film i Väst

Gross worldwide:

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