‘Alcarras’ Ending, Explained: Was The Farm Taken From The Sole Family?


Carla Simon’s “Alcarras” is a visual treat with static shots that capture the picturesque Catalan landscape. The beauty of the film also lies in its poignant storytelling, where conversations are not drafted to give away information but rather to capture the emotion that the characters experience. Simon carefully explores the reactions of the three generations to an unexpected change that they are forced to adapt to. It will be unfair not to mention the realistic performance delivered by the amateur cast.

The Sole family could not imagine their lives without the farm that they had been cultivating for generations. Quimet has taken charge of monitoring every activity on the farm since his father, Rogelio, retired from duty. Quimet’s son, Roger, started to develop a keen interest in farming at the cost of his education. Mariona, Quimet’s daughter, spends most of her day either at the dance rehearsal or helping her family gather the harvest. Dolors, Quimet’s wife, is mostly tired of her husband’s behavior, and little Iris’s days are spent playing imaginary games with her cousins.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Alcarras’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

The abandoned car was the play spot for Iris and her cousins Pau and Pere. They imagined traveling to space in the car and defeating aliens as they proceeded. Iris did not know about adult complexities, but as a child, she realized that everything around her had started to change once they were forced to leave the car when a claw bucket excavator removed the abandoned car from the spot. She perhaps had never imagined that the car could be destroyed in seconds by a stranger. The only place she could be the hero of her own story without adult intervention is now gone. Iris ran to her elder sister, Mariona, complaining about the injustice that she had witnessed. Mariona was a teenager; she could not fully comprehend adult conversations, but she was quick to understand and react to the crisis that the family encountered.

During the Spanish Civil War, the Sole family, who worked at the farm, protected their landowners, that is, the Pinyol family. After the war, the Pinyols were grateful to the Soles and allowed them to farm their land, promising to never take it away from them. But now, the new generation of Pinyols has refused to accept it since the Soles do not have a written contract confirming the arrangement. Rogelio could not fathom how promises were no longer enough and how they required a document to prove a spoken contract. His entire family was disappointed in him for not caring enough to sign a document that clearly stated the arrangement. Rogelio perhaps never imagined that a day would come when people who gave their word would one day question its existence. The Pinyols wanted the Soles to leave the farm after the harvest, and Quimet was determined to make as much money as possible by selling the peaches he farmed.

The women of the family joined the men to help them gather the harvest. Even though their future was uncertain, the family tried to deal with the crisis together. Later, the Pinyols expressed that the Sole family could stay at the farm if Quimet agreed to look after the solar panels. But for Quimet making this shift was no joke. He was a proud farmer, and he could never see himself being reduced to a caretaker working for the Pinyols. But not everyone in the family was ready to accept his decision—Quimet’s brother-in-law, Cisco, considered the option, further infuriating Quimet.

‘Alcarras’ Ending Explained: Was The Farm Taken Away From The Sole Family?

Roger enjoyed working with his father on the farm. He found joy in physical labor and struggled to understand the need for education. Quimet wanted his son to focus on school, but for Roger, helping his father on the farm was a lot more rewarding. He and Cisco had planted a few weed plants without Quimet’s knowledge. It was a profitable business, but they knew that Quimet would never agree to it. He perhaps found his father’s traditional approach restraining and wanted to experiment. Roger was aware of how hard his father struggled to adapt to the new situation, and maybe his respect for Quimet faded when he saw him quarrel and fight out of frustration. While he initially sympathized with his father, he could not keep calm when he saw Quimet destroy the weed plants. He was so furious that he removed the irrigation board to let the water flow into the farm to teach his father a lesson. Quimet was devastated to witness the mess the next morning, though the damage caused was quite insignificant.

Mariona was close to her grandfather, and she could see the pain in his eyes when everyone around him tried to blame him in one way or another for the situation they were in. She was tired of the daily quarrels that were often instigated by her father. She despised her father for his behavior towards the women of the house, be it his wife or his sisters. Mariona was extremely affected by how her family was falling apart, and she solely blamed her father for it. She had been preparing for days to perform at the festival, but when the time arrived, she refused to go onstage. She was furious when she saw her father misbehave with his sister, which was why she chose not to perform. Later that evening, when Roger misbehaved with the boy she met at the festival, she was fuming with rage. She developed a hatred for the men in her family who were quick to oppress the women in the household and lacked the skill to resolve an issue without making a mess of the situation.

When Dolors could not find Roger the morning after the festival, she reached out to Cisco. Cisco found Roger and brought him back to the farm. Quimet was disgusted by Roger’s carelessness since he was in charge of changing the irrigation board. Since morning, Dolors had been worried about Roger while all her husband cared for was the harvest. So, when Roger returned, and Quimet screamed at him, she slapped them both to express her frustration. They were so consumed with their problems that they did not care about Dolors.

Meanwhile, Rogelio attempted to mend his relationship with the Pinyols. He had hoped for young Pinyol to reconsider his decision, but that remained unchanged. The world he once knew had completely changed, and he struggled to cope with it. He could not help but blame himself for their present situation, and he tried whatever was in his capacity to somehow make it work. But when he saw his family together, spending time laughing and enjoying the pool, he was reassured that no matter how tough the days would get, his family would stay together and figure it all out. He might have failed to provide them with a secure future, but he sure did teach them the important values in life.

After the car was taken away, Iris and her cousins tried playing in the claw bucket excavator, but even that turned out to be a futile attempt. They then shifted to a crate, where they tried to recreate a space away from the farm and the adults, but even that was taken away by her father. Frustrated, the kids were forced to play on the farm with the fruits at hand. Iris’s world was crushed when Pau and Pere were taken away after Quimet had a disagreement with his sister and his brother-in-law. Iris did not understand why her brothers had to be taken away. They were her only company, and she struggled to accept that they were gone as well. Later, the twins were brought back even though the parents continued to be on bad terms.

Quimet lost control over his emotions after Dolors’ outburst. The reason why Quimet argued with everyone around him was simply because he was frustrated. He was upset about life and its uncertainty; he was unhappy with himself, knowing well that the harvest was not enough for the future; he was irritated knowing that his son would never be rewarded in his profession; and he was tired of the expectations that he believed his family had of him as the patriarch. While Quimet used to ignore most of the strikes held by the farmer, he later started to attend them with his son. The unfairness that he felt was something that every farmer experienced. He realized that the cause of his frustration had a lot to do with how the system functioned and how farmers were not paid fairly. The strikes brought Quimet and Roger closer together. “Alcarras” ends with the family canning fruits together while the tractors bring down the peach trees. Indicative of how the harvest period has come to an end, and it is time for the family to begin a new journey.

The song of love for the land that Iris sings and dedicates to her grandfather is a reassurance that all of Rogelio’s life has not gone to waste. Even though the world was changing, he was glad that he taught his family such immaterial yet treasured aspects of life. “Alcarras” is a film about family unity in the face of an unexpected calamity. It is also about how technology overpowers traditional livelihoods; in this case, the farm will eventually be destroyed to build the solar power plant. The ending can be interpreted as hopeful, considering how there is destruction on one end and a united family on the other. There is hope for them to build their lives on another piece of land from scratch.

See More: ‘Alcarràs’ Characters & Themes, Explained: What Is The Meaning Of Quimet’s Efforts To Save The Peach Farm?

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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