First screened at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, Pedro Almod�var's powerful and passionate semi-autobiographical melodrama follows the intertwining stories of two boys, Enrique (Fele Mart�nez) and Ignacio (Gael Garc�a Bernal), who fall in love at an abusive Catholic school and are parted by a jealous paedophile priest. Sixteen years later, Enrique, now a successful filmmaker, is casting about for an idea for a new film when a young cross-dressing actor, claiming to be Ignacio but known as 'Angel', approaches him with a short story based on their schooldays together. Enrique decides to use the story, and casts Angel in the film's lead role, despite his discovery that Angel is not in fact Ignacio, who died three years earlier shortly after completing the story, but his younger brother. Enrique's film also includes scenes in which the grown-up Ignacio tracks down the Catholic priest who abused them as boys, and these scenes soon become mirrored by real-life events. Almod�var moves away from his trademark quirky comedy with this dark and brooding drama, using a complex 'film-within-a-film' structure to create a noir-like sense of mystery and blurred identity, and to explore the relationship between fantasy and reality.