This big-budget movie is set in 1936 in Barcelona in the midst of the Spanish Revolution and Spanish Civil War. Militia women Pilar (Ana Belen) and Floren (Victoria Abril) are joined by former prostitute Charo (Loles Leon) and former nun Maria (Ariadna Gil). The film opens with scenes of working class militants demolishing and burning religious icons, as they shout "down with Capitalism!" and "long live the libertarian revolution!"
While fully immersed in the overall enthusiasm of revolutionary Spain, Pilar and friends find themselves fighting against deep gender inequality which complicates their efforts in the war against Francisco Franco's Nationalist/Fascist/Catholic forces. They encounter resistance even within their own "Free Women" (Mujeres Libres) organization as one woman (that resembles Federica Montseny) tries to persuade them to stay and work in defense factories, while men try to convince them to go work as cooks, not front-line soldiers.