The legendary life of Mexican singer Lucha Reyes is the basis of this fictionalized biography ( or as director Arturo Ripstein puts it "an imaginary biography"). Lucha Reyes was an unconventional, and sexually liberated woman, most famous for her "cancion ranchera" style singing. Her story begins in 1939, where at 33 she still lived at home with her mother, Dona Victora, the madame of a renowned Mexico City whorehouse. Lucha marries the liberal Pedro Calderon and then buys a beggar's daughter. She becomes the mother to this child, Luzma. Lucha craves lasting love like junkies crave heroin. But for her loyal daughter, she never finds it and in the end no one can help her.