A family of Republican sympathisers are still recovering from defeat in Spain's harrowing Civil War. David has been deserted by his father, an alcoholic, political fugitive, and left alone with his pregnant mother. The fantasy world young David inhabits is fuelled by the films he sees at his local cinema and by images of war - Spitfires crashing into the sea, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima - and by the image of an RAF pilot, Captain O'Flynn, whose photograph from a magazine cover is pinned on his bedroom wall. The detachable lizards' tails which David and his friend collect become symbolic of the detachment and uncertainty so much a part of their young lives in a troubled country.
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