Mecha (Graciela Borges), the family matriarch, lives in a dilapidated country retreat near La Cienaga (the Swamp) with her husband Gregorio (Martin Adjemian) and her teenage children. The humidity is stifling and the only leisure the adults can think of is to drink - constantly. One drinking session by the pool leads to a trip to the hospital, leaving the children - with no adult supervision - to their own devices; sunbathing, hunting, dancing, driving illegally and diving in the stagnant pool. The only adults who seem to care at all are the Indian servants who are constantly being harassed by Mecha for allegedly stealing towels. What unfolds is a subtle and sly look at intimacies of a midldle class family in crisis, with Mattel's microscope artfully observing the infidelities, alliances, prejudices and secret infatuations.